Reasons and stages of professional burnout and how to deal with it?
The employee shows excellent results of work and suddenly becomes lack of initiative, drooping, irritable. Any organization faces a similar situation in personnel. Ordinary fatigue, illness, an incomprehensible universal virus? Psychologists call this phenomenon professional burnout. For various reasons, most of the inhabitants of Ukraine are inclined towards it. A clear understanding of prevention and how to deal with an unpleasant syndrome will help to avoid getting into the risk zone.
The reasons for burnout in the team
What turns active and energetic managers, sellers, operators, couriers into indifferent, dull employees that do not inspire confidence in customers? There are many reasons:
- unfair reward system. Low wages, lack of moral and material incentives, a comfortable working environment, incentives for professional development;
- mistakes in tactics and strategy of leadership. Unfulfillable demands made by bosses, biased criteria for assessing work performance, lack of well-thought-out motivation, setting contradictory tasks;
- intense schedule. Too long working day, uninterrupted service of an endless stream of customers, lack of time to meet basic needs;
- the gap between personal social beliefs and corporate rules. Inconsistency of the established norms with the real policy of the company;
- disappointment in the profession. Unreasonably high expectations from work in a specific position due to a lack of understanding of the specifics of the activity;
- acute reaction to failure. Excessive sensitivity, unwillingness to take responsibility, avoidance of non-standard tasks after previous mistakes.
Taken together, these reasons cause antipathy, and often hatred of work. The employee simply burns out, nothing brings him pleasure, everything seems meaningless.
Manifestation of the syndrome: key symptoms, stages
The syndrome develops stealthily and gradually: the “burnout” employee is not immediately noticeable. The first to come under attack are workaholics who devote the lion’s share of their free time to work, work for wear and tear, and have little rest. At the initial stage, the body endures stress, fights fatigue. He soon surrenders, starting a strike. When a failure occurs depends on the individual circumstances, the stamina of the individual worker.
Early symptoms are often confused with common depression. Workers with signs of professional burnout:
- experience severe fatigue, apathy;
- lose optimism, interest in work, the world around them;
- are morally depleted;
- not inclined to communicate, have a negative attitude towards colleagues, clients;
- indifferent to the results of labor;
- do not strive for career growth;
- see no point in the effort.
There are several stages of burnout:
- initial – minor changes in behavior are observed, the specialist makes minor mistakes, shows forgetfulness, misses the nuances, neuropsychic tension sets in;
- intermediate – interest decreases, the need for communication decreases, irritability increases, persistent psychosomatic disorders arise;
- final – burnout literally incinerates the employee, dulling the idea of life values, causing complete apathy, sometimes – destruction of the personality.
In order to quickly get out of a destructive state, it is important to identify something wrong at the initial stage. A “burnout” specialist usually does not realize the seriousness of what is happening. The victim will not be hurt by help – from relatives, colleagues, direct supervisors.
Experts identify three groups of factors that trigger the development of symptoms:
- Physiological. Manifested by insomnia, physical exhaustion, poor concentration, skin diseases, excessive weight loss or weight gain.
- Social. They are expressed in increased irritability, nervous breakdowns, emotional indifference, an excessive sense of responsibility, turning into fear of work.
- Behavioral. The employee is indifferent to his duties, is late, tries to leave early, refuses to take on responsible tasks, withdraws from colleagues, abuses alcohol.
Sometimes the symptomatology is “viral”, covering the entire company. This is evidenced by the physical, emotional instability of the overwhelming majority of staff, characterized by similar signs and behavioral patterns. The company suffers from inadequate staff turnover, a tense atmosphere reigns in the team, conflicts regularly arise.
Effective prevention measures
It is much easier to prevent the development of burnout than to deal with it. Reliable ways to protect yourself from the ill-fated syndrome will help protect yourself.
Stick to a passive resistance strategy
You need to be able to respond correctly to pressure from superiors, colleagues and clients. Do not try hard to delve into other people’s problems. If you feel the signs of fatigue, try not to get annoyed, not raise your voice to your interlocutors. Keep your emotions under control, respond in a measured, calm manner. Try to disconnect, take a short tea break.
If you are very tired, unwell, do not take on responsible, creative tasks. If possible, set them aside until you are back to normal. Learn to perceive failure correctly: without self-deprecation and bouts of aggression.
Make clear demarcations
Family, leisure, hobbies must be present in the personal schedule. These are key sources of resources, the meaning is to move forward, to live fully. By concentrating exclusively on work, you run the risk of being left behind.
Don’t be afraid of change
Having reached the ceiling of your own capabilities, do not remain motionless. Think about prospects, look for new goals, ways of self-realization. If at the current job it is impossible to move up the career ladder, it is worth changing the field of activity.
When choosing a suitable professional direction, avoid activities that you don’t like. Prefer a position that is particularly enthusiastic. However, do not try to idealize the profession and set high expectations. Evaluate the situation soberly, preventing unnecessary disappointments.
Take good care of your health. Observe your sleep schedule, reconsider your diet, and do not neglect physical activity. Gain new life experience: make useful contacts, read professional and fictional literature, attend interesting cultural events.
For the purpose of corporate prevention of burnout, the management of companies should take care of the competent organization of corrective measures. It is advisable to conduct psychological trainings, involve qualified specialists, periodically arrange situational exercises, role-playing games.
Correct motivation is also important – comfortable conditions for work and rest, technical equipment of workplaces, friendly attitude, decent wages.