Burnout

@manager's Forum

Very short summary

Burnout:

When I cannot opt-out  from disengaging activities.

 

The experience of activity is what matters (how it feels to do something)

People will feel engaged or disengaged while doing an activity

If people can opt-out (choose to not do the activity: now/like this/never) there is no risk of burnout

If people cannot choose (autonomy) to do a disengaging activity then they will burnout

as managers, we prevent burnout or intervene when it happens by

providing autonomy,

bringing engagement into activities

and

Diminishing burdens

longer summary

What is Burnout?

Burnout is a consequence of doing activities that are not engaging or come with burdens and we cannot opt-out of those activities.

How does burnout feel?

Burnout feels like an emotional disconnection from what we do. We feel numb, depersonalized, emotionally depleted (empty). 

At first, we feel emotionally disconnected from a particular activity (or set of activities). If there are too many of them or they occupy too much time, that feeling of disconnection might spill-over to other activities. 

Burnout can serve as a protection mechanism:

"The experience of doing X activity feels so bad  and I cannot escape  the activity that it is more protective for me to detach myself emotionally from it"

 

Doing activities from which I feel detached can lead to exhaustion (there is nothing to refill my energy and excitement reservoir), leads to loss of commitment (I cannot commit if I don't feel anything), loss of efficacy (it becomes really difficult to be effective when you don't feel anything about the activity) and loss of motivation (I cannot feel motivated if I cannot feel).

 

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The history of burnout

Here you find a very interesting article on the history and research of bunrout.

Here are some instruments for burnout and engagement assessment

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Engagement:

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I am engaged when:

- the experience of an activity is absorbing

- or when the activity is meaningful for me or it serves my purpose.

I am disengaged when:

- the experience of an activity is not absorbing

- or when the experience of an activity doesn't matter (I don't pay attention to it) - when I do the activity to avoid something or to gain something (the activity is transacted for some results)

-or when the activity is not meaningful for me or it does not meet my personal purpose.

***actively engaged or actively disengaged - reffers to the situations where we sell our experiences for others:

when I am actively engaged - I show to others how the experience of the activity is engaging for me and it can be for them

when I am actively disengaged - I show to others how the experience of the activity is disengaging for me and it can be the same for them ("counting work hours is boring")

engagement and disengagement is about

|how it feels|

to do an activity while doing it

 I burnout when:

1.

I burnout when I cannot choose what activities I will do and:

- I do to many disengaging activities I cannot escape from 

- The disengaging activities take too much time

- The activities that I do are so disengaging that they take a toll:

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I burnout when i cannot opt out

here is an article about the difference between autonomy and abandonment

The first thing we can do as managers is to make sure that we provide autonomy for people.

 

Make sure when you provide autonomy you don't just "not micromanage" and abandon people.

 

I burnout when:

I burnout when I have to TRANSACT what I am doing and I cannot opt-out

When I transact what I am doing (I do something to gain something or to avoid something) it means that the experience of doing that activity doesn't matter. 

2.

I burnout when the experience doesn't matter

and I cannot opt out

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The second thing we can do as managers is to make sure that we talk about the EXPERIENCE OF AN ACTIVITY instead of talking about the transactions:

 

"This is how it would feel to do this activity (describe the experience)"

"This is how this activity is meaningful for you/me"

"This is how this activity serves a meaningful purpose for you/me"

"We/you/I do this to meet/gain/achieve/ .... BENEFIT"

"We/we/I do this to avoid losing BENEFIT / avoid COST"

*benefits or costs can be anything positive or negative that happens after doing something. It can be about palpable things or it could be about emotions. 

 

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I burnout when:

Doing something that is burdening takes its toll. If we cannot opt out and we are forced to keep doing something although it is difficult to carry those burdens then we burnout. 

3.

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I burnout when I am burdened

and cannot opt out

I feel light to do an activity when:

I feel burdened to do an activity when:

The third thing we can do as managers is to make sure that people are not burdened when they do an activity instead of not addressing people's burdens.

 

People are light when: 

- they are FIT to do the activity:

they have the internal resources that are needed for that particular activity (physical, energetic, cognitive, focus, willpower, emotional)

- they are SAFE when doing the activity: 

the activity that they are doing and the context in which the activity is done does not pose:

a threat to the physical and psychological integrity of a person (it doesn't harm them)

or a threat to wellbeing. 

- they are ABLE to do the activity:

they know how to do the activity (they have the competency)

they feel they can do the activity correctly (self-efficacy)

they feel the activity can be done in the context they are in (hope)

they feel the activity can be done by them in the context they are in (optimism)

- the activity allows them to feel CONNECTED

doing the activity will not harm the relationship they have or their social status

doing the activity does not create an impact on other people (or it goes unnoticed)

doing the activity isolates them from meaningful social interactions

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***aceste intrebari nu pot fi folosite in scop de diagnostic, ele au doar caracter de prezentare

Instructaj: „Următoarele afirmaţii se referă la sentimentele faţă de munca dv.

Vă rugăm să citiți cu atenţie fiecare afirmaţie şi să indicați varianta care descrie cel mai bine frecvenţa cu care vă simţiți în acel fel.”

Pentru a calcula scorul la MBI-GS, însumați răspunsurile de la fiecare item ce aparține fiecărei subscale, așa cum este prezentat mai jos.

Scorare pe scală de rating a frecvenței în 7 trepte unde: 0 = Niciodată și 6 = Zilnic.

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