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Addressing the Six Causes of Burnout With Your Team


October 27, 2022

After weathering the third year of the pandemic, the United States is experiencing a burnout crisis. One of the signs is that Google searches for “burnout symptoms” hit an all-time high in May 2022. Burnout is almost always systemic and endemic to the workplace rather than reflecting a problem with individual employees. There are six causes: an unsustainable workload, perceived lack of control, insufficient rewards for effort, lack of a supportive community, lack of fairness, and mismatched values and skills.

Before organizations can even address burnout, they must create the necessary conditions to discuss it. Team leaders must provide psychological safety or a culture where people feel secure enough to take risks and share problems. The authors have designed 18 questions around the six causes as a basis for engaging in a dialogue about burnout, beginning with answering questions asynchronously in a shared document, then breaking up into small groups and developing recommendations. This inclusive approach makes the solutions more innovative and applicable than the Human Resources department could offer alone. The questions will help create a dialogue that lets your employees know you value them and their well-being, mitigating the insidious spread of burnout.

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