Prevent burnout – 3 burnout symptoms and how to avoid them

teaching resilience
Teaching Resilience in the Face of Climate Change Federally funded programs use games, gardens and rain barrels to empower adults and kids facing threats like sea-level rise, drought and flooding. Full story: Image Credit: Janet Goldbach Ehmer leads a lesson on the habitat of the Atlantic blue crab aboard the Learning Barge in Norfolk, Va. Credit… Parker Michels-Boyce for The New York Times


Why resilience must be our leadership cornerstone

One of the most striking features of this year’s Acevo Conference was the number of speakers who talked about the importance of resilience in leadership. For me, the standout session of the day involved three charity chief executives courageously describing how they had confronted major challenges in their organisations: serious financial setbacks, a governance crisis and, most movingly, how you cope as a leader when dealing with the terminal illness of a loved one.

Jehangir Malik, chief executive of Muslim Aid, described the personal toll of confronting major organisational challenges, saying: “I thought I was a resilient person, but I never realised how much my resilience would be tested.”

This really struck a chord with me. Like many people in the sector, the challenges we face are changing, becoming more complex and demanding. The need to support our beneficiaries increases, funding gets squeezed, public expectations…


Prevent burnout – 3 burnout symptoms and how to avoid them

Stress can seem like an inevitable consequence of a fast-paced work environment. However, when it reaches chronic levels, it can result in what the World Health Organization (WHO) describes as an “occupational hazard” known as burnout.

In its latest International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), the WHO defines burnout as a “syndrome conceptualised as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”. The World Economic Forum estimates the syndrome is costing the global economy US$322 billion annually.

Georgie Chapman, workplace relations and safety lawyer and partner at HR Legal, says the WHO’s classification sharpens the focus for employers on “the ramifications of failing to ensure a psychologically safe work environment and/or failing to monitor the psychological health of employees”.

Burnout affects about 5-7 per cent of the working population, according to Michael Leiter, professor of industrial and organisational psychology at Deakin University. Leiter explains that it is difficult to say if the condition is on the rise, since burnout has not been tracked over time, and is likely to be hidden in the “mental stress” category of workers’ compensation…


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