A healthy organizational culture: The best antidote against Burnout

burnout

Written by María Eugenia Raffaele

Did you know that 76% of employees claim they have experienced job burnout at least once in their life, and 40%  was specially affected by it during 2020

Let’s start by raising the following question: What is burnout, actually? Burnout is anything but new… In simple words, it’s a phenomenon that has been around us for many years, resulting from ineffectively managed workplace stress. People who are on the road to burnout undergo symptoms such as feeling helpless, disillusioned, and completely exhausted.

Unfortunately, accumulated work burnout suffered last year is likely to hit stronger in 2021, and people who are in a position of leadership are the keystone to tackle this occupational phenomenon before it triggers a downward spiral of serious consequences affecting people’s well-being and productivity. 

burnout

Yes, if you are a leader reading this, it sounds like you have a hard year ahead, but the good news is, if you make your employees’ health a priority, then you are already on the way to deal with this phenomenon successfully. So, without further ado, with burnout on the rise in 2021,  what can leaders do to enhance well-being and how can they prevent burnout in their teams? If you’re looking for answers, we suggest you continue reading!

Causes and signs of burnout

Let’s start by discussing what working conditions lead to burnout and how its signs are manifested in the working place. Among many causes, employees claim their burnout in 2020  was a result  of a combination of several factors:

causes-of-burnout

Burnout certainly doesn’t happen overnight but if the above-mentioned indicators are suffered over a period of time, your employees will likely become physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted,  and this can bring about a series of signs of burnout which will impact negatively at a corporate level, such as: attrition, low performance, apathy, lack of engagement, no sense of belonging or connectivity with coworkers, and little collaboration.

Tips to prevent burnout


Reflect and take action

The first thing we advise you to do is to reflect upon the working environment of your employees,  and make sure you’re enhancing their well-being by considering the tips below each key point. 

These triggering questions can come really handy.

burnout

Values: Are the concepts of integrity, intellectual freedom, open dialogue, diversity and inclusion part of my team’s everyday experience? 

Tip:  Recognition programs based on organizational values can be really useful to promote day-to-day behaviours you want your teams to pursue. In this way, you can make values and healthy habits become part of an employee’s everyday experience.  Make sure you reinforce them everyday by being a good listener and giving everyone a voice.


Clear objectives and feedback: Are objectives and expectations clear to my team? Do they know what I think about them?

Tip:  Not having clear goals or not knowing how one’s doing at work can be overwhelming and creates great uncertainty. Set clear objectives, keep track of how everyone in your team is doing and feeling about their objectives, and provide valuable feedback. This can turn the people of your team into self-confident and autonomous employees.  Plus, by making use of performance management technologies such as BetterMe, for example, leaders can set objectives and key results (OKRs) for their team, which will give them  clarity about their individual goals.


Empathy: How connected am I with people in my team? Am I empathetic and understanding of their needs?

Tip: Especially in times of uncertainty and crisis, be there. By providing them with emotional support, they’ll feel visible and listened to, which is vital to reduce anxiety. Check out Globant’s survey to 1,000 U.S. professionals working remotely full-time: 78% of employees stated that they felt their manager was  empathetic and understanding of their needs, and, nearly half (47%) said this was  absolutely vital to stay happy at work.


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Motivation: Is my team receiving enough recognition for their work? Am I effectively enhancing their skills and helping them become the best version of themselves?

Tip: 71% of employees believe that being recognized impacts positively in their job satisfaction. This means to say that, when people see their everyday effort is valued and visible, motivation and productivity rises. Digitizing emotions and behaviors through recognition platforms like StarMeUp, for instance,  is an effective way to show your teams that you care about them and that you are able to value their daily effort.  Recognition platforms can help you create a strong digital culture in which workers always feel motivated, productive and valued.  


Peer relationships: Do I enhance social interaction,  exchange and collaborative work  among colleagues?

Tip: Engaging employees in a hybrid working model can be challenging but it’s crucial for their well-being and efficiency. Evidence shows that when teams are better connected, they are more efficient. Recognition platforms like StarMeUp, for example,  can allow you to map the influence of each person and the relationships they establish throughout the organization to gain insights on their experience.  


Make sure you have a healthy organizational culture and you’re aligned to it


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As you can see from the triggering questions and tips above, preventing your employees’ burnout and fostering their well-being implies a combination of factors which are 100% associated with a solid healthy organizational culture.

If your organization has already gone through a cultural transformation, our advice is to continue reflecting upon your role as a leader, and always keep in mind that companies which center their attention on the employee, promote a collaborative environment, recognition, empathy and provide positive feedback, will certainly succeed at preventing burnout because the working environment is healthy for everyone. To put it simply, happy employees are less likely to experience burnout because they work in a healthy context they love being part of. If you get to see this as a leader, you’ve nailed it! You’re already upgrading people’s mental health and productivity.

A valuable experience at Globant

At Globant, around 7 years ago we faced a turning point in which we understood that employees’ well-being depended on providing them with  a solid and healthy culture that would put them at the center – a culture that would listen to them and would know who they were, how they worked and what their needs were. That’s when we developed StarMeUp, and  through our experience and our clients’, we can assure that a healthy organizational culture is the key to enhance your employees’ well-being, keep them happy,  motivated, and productive.

So, we know the year ahead will be challenging but, mark my words: As long as your day-to-day actions are aligned to a healthy employee-focused culture that makes everyone feel part of, not only will you bring about that which is amazing in your people without undergoing stress, but also, they’ll love having you as their leader! 

Ready to start 2021 with an awesome and healthy team?  We’d be pleased to help you make it happen.

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