“I don’t feel that it is evolving. There is no more joy in my work ”
“I used to be afraid of Sunday night. Not now, it’s another Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.”
“I feel desperate and stuck with this job market, there is nowhere I can go.”
Demonstrations such as those illustrated above have reached a high point in the past six months. We all know someone who suffers or has suffered from Burnout. The current pandemic situation (Covid-19) has tested leaders in several ways, namely regarding the identification of warning signs for Burnout in the workplace or even via telework.
“The 2021 Global Leadership Forecast for my company revealed that leaders are experiencing high levels of Burnout. This study found that about 60% of leaders feel completely exhausted at the end of a workday, thus revealing signs of exhaustion and exhaustion”.
The World Health Organization (WHO) classifies Burnout as a pathology that is fundamentally associated with labor issues. The WHO also defines that Burnout is a result of “chronic stress in the face of work that has not been carried out successfully”.
Burnout is considered a relevant disease, which tends to appear in the workplace. In this sense, it is up to the leaders to assist their teams and their organization in order to manage and alleviate the symptoms of exhaustion that may exist. However, only 18% of leaders feel confident and able to help their employees (through their capabilities) to avoid possible symptoms of Burnout. “I recommend that leaders focus on the emergence and, consecutively, on avoiding Burnout in their employees, based on the three super leadership skills”.
Demonstrating empathy is an essential skill to help mitigate Burnout levels, however, many people do not understand the importance and meaning of demonstrating empathy.
Empathy is the ability to understand and / or understand how the other person feels. Within the scope of this article, empathy refers to how the person will interpret the responses of their leader and, of course, how he will make them feel. In this sense, empathy is considered the center of emotional intelligence, that is, it refers to the ability to listen to the other and to be able to perceive the feelings that are associated with what he expresses. Truly, recognizing the emotions of the other, is the key point of empathy.
In a situation with considerable levels of tension and negative emotions, such as that experienced by employees with symptoms of Burnout, empathy is essential for these levels to attenuate. For example, if an employee says: “This is crazy!” and your leader answers: “I know how you feel”, the employee will probably feel that his leader heard him but did not understand him. Thus, it becomes pertinent that the leader, in this situation, develop strategies of empathy. In this case, a more appropriate response on the part of the leader could be: “It seems to me that you are feeling overwhelmed (you recognize the feeling) due to the shortage of employees in your team (you recognize the fact)”.
Empathy allows others to feel heard and understood. Thus, structured demonstrations of empathy enable leaders to stabilize a given situation and the ability to encourage and help their employees.
Unfortunately, the present study reports that, in the face of leaders’ self-assessment, empathy decreased by about 15% during the current pandemic situation, namely, when employees needed it most. This decline also demonstrated that leaders are experiencing considerable levels of stress and exhaustion.
Coaching and Delegation
In stressful moments, when Burnout is present in an individual, coaching and delegation are relevant to motivate and energize their employees, thus increasing their productivity.
Excellent leaders use coaching and delegation strategies to ensure that their employees have a balanced amount of work and resources. Thus, leaders show their employees that they are involved and consider their professional success. When performed correctly, coaching and delegation can increase the capabilities of your employees in terms of demonstrating their needs, thereby increasing their commitment, results and professional skills.
The ability of a leader to influence his team, can be relevant to improve the direction of his organization. This becomes truly relevant in times of uncertainty or crisis, when there is a need to act quickly and face continuous challenges. Thus, a leader can use his abilities to influence and motivate his team towards common goals. When a leader is able to bring his team together around a common goal, it will naturally increase the commitment of employees to the organization. When employees are committed and involved, they will be able to increase their energy levels and perform their work more effectively.
The risk of leaving Burnout out of control
Retention is one of the most common effects of burnout exhaustion. “Based on my experience, employees with high leadership potential are more likely to leave the organization. In the same way that this impulse leads them to leave, it also provides an increase in effort on the part of them, in times of crisis”. Probably, these employees remain silent for fear of missing an opportunity, however, they are more likely to leave the organization than other employees”.
Burnout also represents a high risk for the diverse populations of organizations. These have progressed in relation to their leadership diversity in the past decade, including a higher rate of promotions for minority companies. However, there are signs that the levels of retention are higher. Minority leaders are more likely to change companies in order to continue to progress in their professional careers.
Leaders play a pivotal role in minimizing wear and tear on their teams. It becomes pertinent that they improve and put into practice their super skills, with respect to empathy, coaching, delegation and influence, in order to motivate their employees. In this way, the organization will have employees who are more prepared and with greater capacity to evolve in their professional careers in the long term.