“‘Burnout’, n. ‘Physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress’” (Oxford Dictionaries)
Two issues have come to the fore in terms of staff experiencing burnout – bosses who work too many hours, and conflicts in terms of duties performed.
This can result in burnout and high healthcare costs (estimated at $120 billion annually in the USA, along with 120,000 deaths).
Generally managers who work long hours encourage their staff to work similar hours. This encouragement springs from either employees following their manager’s example or exhortations by the manager to also work long periods.
Experts say that a balanced lifestyle between work and leisure is necessary to keep the workforce mentally sharp and they question the benefit of excessive work hours. As one has put it, “Darwin only worked four hours a day and he radically changed human thinking”.
It is important that you satisfy yourself that your executives are not pushing their staff into an unnecessary workload.
Surveys show that another area of unhappiness is that staff face conflicting duties when performing their work. It is natural that people want to be as proficient as possible in their jobs, but they often find this almost impossible to achieve.
As an example, take the roles a physician is expected to fulfil:
Yet when one looks at how the physician is evaluated, it is usually on the most prestigious function, that is, the research undertaken.
Thus, the physician ends up in the position of failing to meet some requirements which leads to frustration.
It can also potentially lead to lower productivity as it may encourage staff, like the physician, to get political in pleasing their superiors.
Researchers have made some key recommendations to address these work-work conflicts, beginning with defining what outcomes the business requires. This will result in:
Work-work conflicts can easily arise in the workplace, so take action to minimise these conflicts in your business.
Disclaimer: The information provided herein should not be used or relied on as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your professional adviser for specific and detailed advice.