How many times have you heard the term, “Burnout”? 

How many times have you been close to something like this? 

What is Burnout syndrome?

Burnout is the state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained and unable to meet constant demands. 

I can recall one time in my career where I felt so drained, noteven having the mental strength or energy to complete tasks. It happened when I started my business and, at the time, everything was actually going really well. 

Why is that? I thought to myself. Was I coming down with the flu, or maybe I was a bit overwhelmed.

I blamed it on the era of technology, I blamed it on the competitive environment I was surrounded by and the business goals I gave myself.

Burnout can happen to many different people within the work place but, as I found out working with SME and corporate businesses, the leaders of the business get impacted by burnout to a high degree which can have a terrible flow-on effect to the wider business. 

My Background

I have been a Business and HR Consultant for SME businesses and corporations for 6 years.

I have helped over 200 companies to date to structure their business; choose, recruit and on-board the best teams. 

When I consult with businesses, I have noticed a common pattern in the managing director or senior leadership. It’s a behaviour I had when I first started experiencing burnout: business-related tiredness, exhaustion and anxiety. Symptoms they usually put down to the amount of work they have, the big team they manage, and the unrealistic goals they are striving to execute. 

Its burnout, I quietly think, without mentioning anything.

My HR brain ticks over really fast when I speak with theseleaders, and I start recognising the missing structure in the business, the majority of work a senior manager tries to do without delegating and the unclear direction the business is heading.

So many medium businesses try and save money from HR consultancy, without realising that if they have that in place with the right people, this can be reduced or eliminated. I am not saying it will completely eliminate the potential for any burnout, but I can guarantee that the anxiety of not knowing,the uncertainty of the unknown will be removed – all agitating signs of the beginning of burnout. This will have a positive flow-on effect to the rest of the business – employee engagement will increase and staff turnover will decrease.

As someone who works with people day in and day out, my heart breaks seeing people leaving jobs or leaving their industry altogether! 

Proper HR strategy and protection in your business can eliminate a lot of emotional break downs at work. It will help your team’s productivity and engagement which will increase your ability and trust to delegate.

Some starting tips to get on the right path to reduce burnout:

1. Be aware of your purpose. Have clear goals and expectations of your team and your business.

2. Be strategic. Know where you are heading so you can lead the rest in the right direction.

3. Give to others. Learn to delegate and trust.

4. Ask for help if you are feeling overwhelmed. Get help from a consultant or someone senior – this is critical. You sometimes just need to get things off your chest. Do not keep it in and let it infect you from the inside out.

5. Begin to learn and understand how to manage your stressand what might work for you to be able to do that.