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Wait... Burn Out and Equity are Related??!

First published on LinkedIn.

Hello October! Fall is finally here which means we're in the full swing of work. This month I want to talk about burnout because oftentimes during this period, we push ourselves a lot harder than usual. We just had the slow summer months and the holidays are right around the corner.

Firstly, we should cover what burnout is and is not.

Burnout can occur when you feel you can't give any more (i.e., emotional exhaustion), and potentially a sense of cynicism and detachment from work, where you might start questioning your self-efficacy. Burnout is not being stressed out, having depression or a lack of motivation, nor is it a sign of weakness because you cannot keep up.

So... is YOUR team burnt out? If you feel uncertain, ask yourself why?

Many employers believe that in order to tackle the Great Resignation, merely adjusting the wages should account for anyone lacking the sense of value and appreciation at work.

But that's only one dimension of employee retention.

Remember again what it entails to be fully committed to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging – it's about coming to terms and negotiating with our human side at work. We aren't "cogs in the machine," despite what we might think. And much of that thought process comes from a lack of Equity in the workplace.

Because Equity isn't about making everyone equal; but rather, Equity is about ensuring every single member of the team is properly set up for success based on their individual needs. This can range from creating a psychologically safe space, having the adequate tools and technology to perform their job, or mentorship and sponsorship for career development. It's part of the stepping stones to creating a workplace of true Inclusion & Belonging.

As a leader, you should ask, "What are they lacking?" and "Why do they want to leave?". The feedback should be directly sourced from employees in 1:1 ongoing feedback sessions.

And finally, we cannot forget the emotional turbulence everyone has all gone through due to the pandemic (even if you've been living under a rock of denial!). Whether your employees have lost someone in their lives or are struggling to manage through the cognitive dissonance in today's conversations. As I tell my clients all the time, we need to "slow down in order to speed up," and that applies to individuals as well.

We need to pause, take breaks and be kind to ourselves.

Until next month... Stay safe, be well & stay healthy!


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