Top Contributors to Burnout—and How to Overcome Them
If you are a highly engaged employee who cares about your work, you may also be at an increased risk for burnout. Here are a few ways you can pinpoint what may be contributing to your burnout, plus a few strategies to combat it.
1. Lack of control or autonomy. Autonomy is the degree of freedom and discretion your job provides you in scheduling work and determining the procedures used to carry it out. The less autonomy people have in how their work is completed and how decisions that affect them are made, the more possibility of increasing frustrations and hurting motivation.
2. Perceived lack of fairness. Organizational justice or fairness focuses on the ways employees determine if they have been treated fairly by their employer. Workplaces that are transparent and open about decisions that affect employees, explaining why you are being asked to do what you are doing, help improve the perceptions of fairness. Perception is often more important than reality.
3. Supervisor support. The extent to which you believe your supervisor values your contributions and cares about your wellbeing is supervisor support. Employees will often stay at their job if they feel supported by their supervisor even in tumultuous work environments. Even in top organizations, it is often alluded to that employees leave managers, not companies. Reoccurring one-on-one meetings between staffers and their managers to provide coaching and mentoring and discuss employees’ needs can help establish supervisor support.
4. Lack of social support. Do you have people to lean on at work? Social support means having someone to turn to, whether it is a supervisor, coworker, or the organization in general. Social support is important because it is a way to value wellbeing. If you are looking to increase your social support, finding a mentor can help.
5. Lack of recognition or reward. People like to know that the company recognizes the work they are doing. Rewards for performance and meeting goals can incentivize hard work. Lack of praise can eventually wear down your motivation. Find ways to celebrate your successes.
6. Lack of resources. Having the tools to perform at your highest level is critical; it is frustrating when you don’t have the resources you need, especially when you are under pressure. If you are missing tools that will help you complete your jobs more effectively and efficiently, ask your supervisor if it would be possible to get what you need.
7. Unclear expectations. Role ambiguity happens when responsibilities and the degree of authority are unclear in the workplace. Unclear expectations are frustrating and demotivating; it’s important to clarify your responsibilities and then create situations where those responsibilities can be properly executed.
8. Workload and work–life balance. When your workload matches your capacity, you can effectively complete your work while having opportunities to rest, recover, grow, and develop. High work demands and poor work–life balance become sources of stress. People who feel chronically overloaded and don’t have opportunities to restore balance may find work responsibilities bleeding into life and family responsibilities.
While you can’t remove all workplace stressors, doing what is in your power to lower burnout not only improves your work–life balance, it can serve as a good model for others. It is important that organizations increase communication, set achievable goals and expectations, increase the perception of fairness, and create a culture where wellbeing can safely be discussed.