How to recognize the initial stages of professional burnout?

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Complex tasks, time pressure, and high expectations placed on employees can have enormous consequences for their mental health. The gradual development of the burnout process leads to a progressive loss of motivation at work and in daily life. What exactly characterizes this phenomenon? Read on to learn about the consequences of chronic fatigue and How to counteract it effectively.


What is burnout syndrome?


Herbert Freudenberger, a German psychiatrist and psychotherapist, gained recognition for his research on burnout. He used the term “burnout” to describe the mental state of workers, especially those in social services and healthcare. His studies focused on analyzing the effects of chronic occupational stress, high work engagement, as well as the successive stages of burnout. The generic term “burnout” has become widely known and commonly used in organizational psychology and work psychology to describe a state of chronic fatigue, frustration, and loss of work motivation. How is occupational burnout currently viewed?


What are the steps of burnout?


Professional burnout is a gradual process that progresses at different rates. Its initial phases can be difficult to pick up on your own. In the first phase of burnout, the need to assert oneself in front of oneself and others intensifies. Initially, people who are diagnosed with burnout in later stages begin to neglect their own needs in favor of work and responsibilities, resulting in increasing tension and frustration in their lives. They develop a sense of imbalance between their own internal needs and external demands, which grows several-fold with increased commitment.


Revaluation – Stages accompanying burnout


As work develops and new projects arise, the feeling of needing to meet every challenge becomes apparent. Defense mechanisms and repression mechanisms develop and activate. Escalating hostility results in the employee ultimately withdrawing from being part of the group. Team members slowly distance themselves, immersing themselves in stress and the need to perform their tasks at the highest level. Every, even the smallest, mistake leads to a loss of self-confidence and contributes to further isolation and the development of symptoms in subsequent stages of burnout. There is a gradual loss of a sense of one’s personality, panic attacks, various phobias, and internal emptiness. Over time, this condition transforms into complete emotional exhaustion, during which the employee ceases to meet previously established standards.


Why is it essential to react in the early stages?


Burnout is a process that disrupts the balance between work effort and life satisfaction, leading to physical, emotional, and psychological exhaustion, as well as depersonalization toward others. It is necessary to react in the previous stages to avoid advanced burnout, which can negatively impact health and professional functioning. Effective prevention and psychological support are crucial in preventing this phenomenon and supporting individuals at various stages of burnout syndrome’s development.


How to support employees at various stages of burnout?


In addition to individual therapeutic support, stress-reducing practices and support from team members, as well as management and leadership, play a crucial role in avoiding burnout. In the prevention of mental health, it is essential to maintain a balance between personal and professional life. Therefore, companies should ensure proper scheduling of days off for employees and maintain an optimal work schedule that does not result in excessive fatigue. To avoid having to treat, it is necessary to prevent at the earliest stages of burnout. Therefore, we encourage regular examination of the team for burnout and counteracting unwanted phenomena.


Strategies to counteract burnout for companies


Individuals working in professions involving direct contact with others and in creative fields are particularly susceptible to occupational burnout. People who are expected to be consistently prepared, continuously enhance their skills, and make challenging decisions require special attention in this regard. It is essential to view employees as individuals who may not always be able to seek help on their own and may not always do so on time. Vivelio’s survey tool allows for not only interpreting information based on data derived from respondents’ answers but also reading between the lines, thereby improving the response process in the early stages of burnout. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Test the Vivelio survey tool for free by clicking here.