How can a coworker spot signs of burnout in a firm? Possibly the more predominant characteristic of burnout is the lack of productivity or never getting to all the tasks on a to-do list. The lack of productivity and performance can increase problems in compliance and following business process standards.
Burnout in the health care industry has been named the number one patient safety concern. It results in blunders that are costly (including mixed medicines) and occasionally fatal. As the financial advisory industry lurches towards another dynamic year of quick pivots in the fiduciary rule and increasing stress on advisor fees, the pressure on advisors could lead to chronic stress or burnout. And those two results can drastically undermine even the best compliance program. How can an advisor keep an eye on his or her colleagues to prevent or assuage burnout? First by recognizing the signs, and second by encouraging a balanced response to relieving it.
While burnout doesn't have a diagnosis code in the medical books or psychological manuals, there are so many commonalities in how people experience it that it has been considered by some as a syndrome.
According to the Mayo Clinic, "job burnout is a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity." The Mayo Clinic also cites the following as causes of burnout: a lack of control over your job (such as schedule or assignments), unclear job expectations or working for an office bully, long busy hours, and a lack of work-life balance (where your job takes up so much of your time and effort that you don't have energy to spend time elsewhere). Some experts also suggest that a difficult work situation coupled with family stress can lead to burnout.
What are those common symptoms? They include chronic fatigueor the feeling of being physically and emotionally exhausted, drained, and depleted, and may include a sense of dread. Even as exhaustion is a sign of burnout, so too is insomnia: trouble falling asleep or staying asleep. Both the fatigue and insomnia can have an impact on concentrationand attention, leading to a lack of focus and mild forgetfulness.
Other symptoms include physical ones related to stress and exhaustion, including chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal pain, dizziness, fainting, and/or headaches. While these symptoms may be related to stress, they should all be medically assessed.
In addition the stress and exhaustion related symptoms, burnout can also cause increased illness, including immune system weakness, vulnerability to infections, colds, flu, and other immune-related medical problems. Other physical symptoms can include those related to emotions such as anxiety-related concerns, such as lack of appetite, tension, edginess or depression-related concerns, including feelings of guilt and worthiness or anger-related concerns such as irritability and increased arguments.
Burnout also causes a loss of enjoyment, not only in work and projects but also in other areas of life, as well as pessimism such as negative self-talk.
So how can a coworker spot signs of burnout in a firm? That can be troubled by the isolation or lack of socializing that a burned out person has, as well as the habit of detaching from the social environment at work. Possibly the more predominant characteristic of burnout is the lack of productivityor increased poor performance – this could mean incomplete projects or never getting to all the tasks on a to-do list. The lack of productivity and performance can increase problems in compliance and following business process standards at your company. If a burned out colleague feels that they can never complete their to-do list, odds are that they may fail to properly document transactions or meet compliance deadlines.
What can a coworker do to help a colleague who may be burned out? Martha Beck, a well-known life coach, suggests finding which parts of a job increase stress and tension (which she refers to as heaters) and which parts of a job environment decrease stress or enhance enjoyment (which she refers to as coolers). Beck suggests increasing the time spent with coolers and decreasing the heaters.
Other experts suggest focusing on a sense of purpose and finding enjoyment in work again. Those same experts note that increasing pay will not bring colleagues back from burnout but having an impact on clients or coworkers in a positive way will go far to bring a coworker back from the brink of burnout.
To counter burnout, having a sense of purpose is highly important. A top motivator is enjoying meaning in the work one does; sometimes meaningfulness can outstrip the wage earned, hours worked, and even the promotions received. Having an impact on others and making the world a better place amplifies the meaning. Other motivators include autonomy as well as a good, hard challenge.
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