By Cari Ladd, LCSW, WellPower
Burnout from workplace stress is at an all-time high and it can be challenging to beat. Burnout is a gradual process, one that can quietly gain ground, zapping your energy. You don’t feel quite like yourself, but you’re not in a crisis either. It can take a long time of feeling emotionally drained and mentally exhausted before you realize what you’re experiencing is not normal and there’s no need to settle for the hopeless feelings of burnout.
At WellPower, we’ve seen a definite increase in burnout with the people we serve. Many people first access care through our new TherapyDirect online service, a no-pressure way for someone to try out therapy. TherapyDirect offers immediate online access to a counselor, and it doesn’t matter if you have insurance or not.
Some of the common symptoms people experiencing burnout report include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Low motivation
- Poor performance
- Every day seems like a bad day
- Tasks you spend your day on seem either dull or overwhelming
- It seems nothing you do is valued
Often these types of symptoms are easy to ignore or “deal with.” Because of this, people experiencing burnout often need encouragement to seek help. Considering most people spend a majority of their waking hours at work, employers, managers and even co-workers are in a unique position to identify and offer support and resources to battle burnout.
Tips to Battle Burnout
- Quarterly Checks – Train managers to check in with staff to gauge stress level and query how they are coping in – and out – of the office. Take note if employees seem apathetic and uninspired. Ask how your employees like to receive support and how they like to be recognized to know they are valued. When people feel valued, they are more likely to naturally engage or reengage in their work. Be prepared to offer mental health resources to help your team navigate the complicated process of being connected to care.
- Adopt a Growth Mindset & Build Trust – Science shows that finding purpose and “getting in the flow” with work boosts well-being. When direct reports trust their leader, they also assume that the manager cares about them and is concerned about their well-being. Learn what your employees like best about their jobs – and where they could use support or training. In addition, get to know who your employees are outside of work. Approaching conversations with your employees in humanizing ways that show care for the whole person rather than a “hustler” or a “quiet quitter” signals respect in a more holistic way. People want to succeed and typically thrive when given the opportunity and support to do so.
- Promote Employee Connection, Respect & Inclusivity – A supportive and inclusive work environment that fosters communication and a sense of belonging offers strong protective factors against burnout. Encourage team building and invest in regular events and opportunities to connect such as breakfast breaks, group outings or group volunteer projects that give back to the community.
- Encourage Healthy Life Choices – Hold “walking meetings” or participate in “Bike to Work Day.” Consider a company-wide Mental Health First Aid class, where employees will be taught tools to keep someone safe in the middle of a panic attack, suicidal ideation, and more. Those who take the course learn a 5-step action plan encompassing the skills, resources and knowledge to help an individual – perhaps even a co-worker – in crisis.
Employee Mental Health Resources:
As Colorado’s largest and most innovative community mental health provider, WellPower offers counseling, clinical interventions, trainings and helpful resources to improve well-being. These include:
- TherapyDirect – A new way to quickly connect with a mental health professional for up to three online therapy sessions each year. No medical insurance needed. Available to anyone in Colorado 18 years and older, including those new to counseling.
- Colorado Crisis Services: To talk to a mental health crisis counselor 24/7, call 844-493-TALK (8255) or text TALK to 38255.
- Well-Being Resources – WellPower has created a “Digital Front Door’” to help people help themselves and access our services earlier. One of these tools, You at Your Best, offers personalized tips and tools to improve your well-being.
- Access Line – To access services for yourself or your child, call (303) 504-7900. Staff will ask you questions over the phone to learn more about you or your child. They will ask about who you are, your finances and ask for some clinical information. We use this to determine if you or your child meet our requirements to access services with us.
Help beat burn-out by enhancing your workplace culture. A healthy workforce can deliver a big return to your business. Set actionable goals, train managers and shift the work mindset to better promote well-being and guard against burnout. Most of all, watch for potentially serious issues impacting staff and act quickly to show care, compassion and a willingness to support and help navigate connecting a person to care.
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