Burnout. It is so common that the World Health Organization (WHO) identified it as an “occupational phenomenon” in 2019. Although not classified as an actual medical condition, WHO defines burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”
What’s the key to avoiding burnout? Build your own personal resilience, says Robert Goldberg, an affiliate faculty member of UNC Executive Development. He emphasizes the need to deepen your employees’ understanding of burnout and its characteristics.
Three dimensions characterize burnout, according to WHO:
At UNC, we have seen a dramatic uptick in clients who are looking to foster resilience among their employees in the age of “always on” and “always available.” Goldberg works with several of our Executive Development clients to explore “energy zones” people need to be aware of and manage to avoid burnout.
Adapted from “The Power of Full Engagement” (Loehr & Schwartz, 2003), Goldberg shares the zones and their characteristics:
The key to staying in the Performance Zone, according to Goldberg, is to move into the Recovery Zone before you enter the Burnout Zone.
Goldberg says you can recover every day, even a little bit, by managing four types of energy:
Goldberg defines resilience as the ability to become strong, healthy and successful after something bad happens. By helping employees build greater personal resilience, organizations are better able to maintain peak performance among their talent. He shares five factors employees can consider when building resiliency for themselves and their team members:
From the resilience work we do with our clients, we often hear a majority of executives use physical energy to build resilience, but research shows it is important to build capabilities across all five factors. By understanding and honing your individual resilience capabilities, you can be more intentional at adapting to stressful situations, recovering quickly from adverse experiences, and reacting positively to change – all positive steps in avoiding burnout and keeping your top talent in the Performance Zone.