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What is Burnout?

According to Microsoft’s 2022 Work Trend Index, 48% of employees globally report feeling burned out. Meanwhile, other studies are finding burnout rates among professionals as high as 89%.

Burnout is particularly prevalent among creatives. Globally, 75% of creatives report having been close or, or having experienced, burnout in the past year (WeTransfer, 2022).

But how is burnout different from stress, and what causes it?

Burnout is an occupational syndrome, characterized by 1) Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, 2) Increased mental distance from one’s job, or cynicism related to one’s job, and 3) Reduced professional efficacy.(World Health Organization)

Burnout stems from a mismatch between the job and the person. Occupational areas where these mismatches occur are: workload, control, rewards, community, fairness, and values. (Leiter & Maslach, 1999)

Is your workforce burned out?

  • Start by identifying those mismatches: leverage surveys, listening sessions, and employee data.

  • Seek team feedback: discuss strategies and solutions to combat burnout and employee buy-in.

  • Design jobs to allow for autonomy: empower employees to do their best work with flexibility and clear role expectations.

  • Make well-being a part of your culture: as leaders, communicate that well-being is a priority and consistently model this value

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