Burnout is not about you, it’s about us



To pretend that mental health issues are solely due to an employee’s inability to cope, is like pretending that our bushfire crisis has nothing to do with global warming.

If we pretend that global warming is not happening and don’t address the root causes, our bushfire issues are likely to intensify. Likewise, with employee productivity and wellbeing problems, if we ignore the root causes, things will get worse.

If one of the first tenants of resilience is accepting reality, we have to acknowledge that there are things that happen in our workplaces that are detrimental to vitality.

Indeed, rising mental health issues as a mega risk facing every workplace for the next 20 years (CSIRO 2018), and yet 91% of employees are dissatisfied with their employer’s response (Allianz 2019).

Houston, we have a problem!!

So, what are the root causes of employee distress?

Gallup (2018) named these the top 5 causes of employee burnout:

1. Unfair treatment
2. Unmanageable workload
3. Lack of role clarity
4. Lack of manager support, and
5. Unreasonable time pressure

These 5 causes have nothing to do with poor wellbeing habits, and everything to do with how people are treated at work.

They also relate directly to productivity. Employees in a positive mood have been shown to be 31% more productive, 37% more influential, and 300% more creative, than those who are struggling.

So, how do leaders build more caring and resilient teams, that enjoy growing together? Nothing could be more important in 2020.











These are the top 5 things leaders should focus on to prevent burnout (Gallup 2018):
1. Listen to work related problems
2. Encourage teamwork
3. Make everyone’s opinion count
4. Make work purposeful
5. Focus on strengths-based feedback and development.

Everyone deserves to work for a leader who cares about them and their growth.

So, what is the solution?











Self-care, team care, and red zone care could help. Care reduces fear and encourages people to learn new things and take moderate risks.

It can be tough being a leader and they also need to practice self-care. Self-care leads to team care.

One of the privileges I have in my presentations is to ask leaders to reflect on the qualities of a great team they have been part of. What made it unique? I write this down on a white board and then take a photo of each one.

After reviewing a hundred of these photos we noted consistent themes. Not surprisingly, what people came up with, was also 100% confirmed by the evidence. This led to my colleague Brenden Carter and I creating THE CARE CREW CREDO – a guide for teams that highly value self-care, team care and red zone care.

We should be striving for workplaces that are both more humane AND more productive.

If we just do one thing today, let’s be in the present moment, show that we care when we are speaking to someone, and truly listen to their problem – and help guide solutions.

You can download a copy of the CARE CREW CREDO from here


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