Burnout Within Your Company? Emergency! Now!

Empty Office. A couple of desks and screens. No people.
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash
  1. In the beginning, it is particularly important to clarify whether affected employees are “only” on their way to burnout or whether they are already ill (e.g. suffering from depression). This is done by a (specialist) doctor.
  2. At the same time, the patient’s extended professional environment must be thoroughly investigated and analyzed: What is the work situation like? What conflicts exist? Where, with whom and why? How long? Are there individual or general overload situations? Where do they (really) come from? How are they structured? Etc. /2/
  3. After this joint (!) analysis, a decision is made about what is going to happen at the individual and organizational levels. Ideally, this is done together and in agreement with those directly affected.
  4. For the sick person, this often means that he or she gets the opportunity and the time needed to get out of the tense stress situation and to fully recover.
  5. This is particularly important because only after a full recovery it makes sense to jointly decide over further questions about the concrete work situation. It may be necessary to change team structures, adjust goals, talk about etiquette, reorganize the workplace, improve one’s self-management skills or even generally look at other career prospects.
  6. At the same time, and preferably immediately/3/ change the structures at the organizational level so that they can be again a solid basis for good performance of the whole team. This includes precautionary and preventive measures (e.g. training sessions) for the entire team including (!) all (!) team managers. All of them must know about (individual and organizational) stress, its effects and good goal- and performance-oriented handling of it.

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Notes

  • /1/ And sometimes life-threatening.
  • /2/ The private environment is just as important, but it is a private matter. Insofar it is reserved for private therapy and the decision of the individual.
  • /3/ Because other team members can also have worn themselves out by the general circumstances and be in a stress tunnel.

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