Australian businesses have faced several crises in recent years, including pandemics, natural disasters, persistent labor shortages and rising inflation contributing to an increase in stress and burnout of many Australians.
According to Australian HR Institute (AHRI), in their 2019 – 2022 workplace report, 68.5% of Australian workers reported they felt like they were burning out at work. With workers in leadership roles more likely to report they felt like they were burnt out than their team members.
Factors that contribute to burnout among managers include heavy workloads, long hours, lack of support from colleagues and superiors, and unclear job expectations. The COVID-19 pandemic has also added to the stress and uncertainty for many managers, as they navigate changes in work processes, remote work, and economic challenges.
Burnout can have significant negative impacts on individuals and organisations, including:
Impact on Individuals
- Physical health: Burnout can cause physical symptoms such as fatigue, headaches, and digestive problems.
- Mental health: Burnout is associated with an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues.
- Personal relationships: Burnout can lead to social isolation and strained relationships with friends and family members.
- Work performance: Burnout can cause decreased productivity, poor job performance, and increased absenteeism.
- Career development: Burnout can hinder career development and limit opportunities for advancement.
Impact on Organisations
- Reduced productivity: Burnout can lead to decreased productivity and poor performance among employees, which can negatively impact the overall productivity of the organisation.
- Higher turnover: Burnout can lead to high turnover rates as employees may leave their jobs to seek better work-life balance or to address their mental health.
- Increased absenteeism: Burnout can cause increased absenteeism as employees may take time off work to recover or manage their mental health.
- Poor morale: Burnout can negatively impact employee morale and engagement, which can affect the overall culture and success of the organisation.
- Decreased organisational performance: Burnout can have a negative impact on organisational performance, as it can lead to decreased productivity, increased errors, and other issues that can affect the bottom line.
It’s essential for organisations to prioritize the well-being of their employees, particularly their managers who are responsible for the well-being of others.
To address this issue, many organisations in Australia are implementing workplace wellness programs and providing support for employees to manage stress and prevent burnout.
This can be achieved through various initiatives such as providing access to mental health services, resources and support for mental health, encouraging work-life balance, promoting a positive workplace culture that values employee well-being and training on stress management and resilience. It’s important for managers and organisations to prioritize employee well-being in order to prevent burnout and create a healthy and productive workplace culture.
Some strategies that can help managers prevent burnout include setting clear boundaries around work hours, delegating tasks when possible, seeking support from colleagues and superiors, practicing self-care, and seeking professional help if necessary. Employers can also offer resources such as employee assistance programs, mental health support, and stress-management training to help prevent burnout among managers and other employees.
We leave you with this final thought. In order to survive challenging times, organisations must adapt to change faster than the marketplace. Leaders who create followers reduce the capacity of the organisation to adjust. When leaders create more leaders, they increase their organisation’s capacity to grow, improve, and innovate through challenging periods – the cornerstones of change leadership.