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The Effective Executive – Episode 28
Episode 28 – 6 Ways to Avoid Burnout
Things Contributing to Burnout
6 Things to Avoid Burnout – !. Social Importance
2. A Clear Future
3. Personal Control ad Freedom
4. Equitable and Fair
5. Greater Good
6. Connection to Customer
[00:00:00] So this is the twenty eighth episode of the effective executive podcast and YouTube video portion.
[00:00:10] And I wanted to talk about burnout this week because it’s been such a big subject on LinkedIn. There was a report that came out from Goldman Sachs where analysts were complaining they were entry level and they had to work one hundred and five hour work weeks and that the conditions were inhumane and, you know, things of that sort. Now. This is something that I know because I know people in that industry has been going on for a long time, it’s almost like hazing in a fraternity or what used to be hazing in fraternity. That’s not allowed anymore either. But, you know, it’s been recognized as a problem. So, you know, part of me says just because of what I went through in order to get ahead, it was, you know, this is just something that goes with the territory. But I know better also. And, you know, these are people that are starting with a base salary of somewhere around 90000 dollars and coming out of college. And so there’s this expectation it’s probably been in their culture for a long period of time, but that doesn’t necessarily make it right. And I think that a lot of the conversations on LinkedIn and hopefully be able to put a link to those in the show notes, but. You know, I commented on it and basically saying, yeah, I came from that generation where, you know, you were just you just sucked it up. That was part of the culture that I was brought up in. But I also know from neuroscience that, you know, if you’re sleeping five hours a night, I mean, there’s a number of things here and the working conditions, you know, if one hundred and sixty eight hours in a week, 105 of those, you’re spent working and you’re sleeping five hours a night and your mental and physical health goes from before you started working in an environment like what we’re talking about Goldman Sachs, of being on a 10 scale about 9:00. And then after you’ve started working there at being less than three, that that’s that that’s problematic. And it’s associated with things like unrealistic deadlines.
[00:02:37] You know, these are some of the ancillary things ignored in meetings, micromanagement, things that we’ve talked about in this in this podcast and YouTube channel.So we’re in essence, talking about being very efficient in some cases where we’re getting lots of hours out of these guys and doing this work and gals in order to get the work done. But the question becomes, if you’re an effective executive is how good was the work? And I would suggest that if you’re only sleeping five hours or working one hundred and five hours, that you’re probably your output. It’s not going to be quite up to standard. Now that that may or may not be true, I don’t have any data to necessarily support that. Those are things that individual companies need to be able to assess. And we’ve seen an increased amount of burnout during the course of the pandemic.
[00:03:38] You know, I guess a great example would be health care workers. You know, they’re having to work extraordinary hours during this pandemic as people come in, you know, into the E.R. or whatever places that they’re going within the hospital and nurses and doctors and everything or having to work extraordinary hours. And I think they did before, you know. So there are a lot of different ways people are trying to assess the level of burnout. And I’m not sure if that’s the greatest use of time. You know, the worst thing that comes out of it is, you know, burnout is asking just people, are you burned out? And I don’t think that really goes anywhere. You know, how do you know whether you’re getting better than less? People are saying they’re burned out and then there’s things associated with like there’s never any follow up. Are you burned out? I’m burned out, OK? And then don’t do anything. Now that that creates distrust in your culture and that that’s problematic, too. And that creates more stress. You get turnover. You get a whole bunch of things associated with it. So, you know, best thing that you can do, there’s really two things. One is support these people.
[00:05:03] Let’s say it’s nurses in this in this case, because we know health care has gone through a lot, very stressful times, is to support during the course of this emergency. And I think as a society, we’ve we’ve done pretty well. They’re at least supporting them now. I don’t know what goes on in individual hospitals and things of that sort, but I think ultimately coming out of it, we need to have to redesign our organizations in order to have an effective workplace under normal conditions. And then if we know that that something is going to last for a short period of time, that’s good. Now, the pandemic has gone on certainly a lot longer than any of us expected it would, or maybe it was the expectation. But it certainly has put a stress on these types of workers, and they are heroes, without a doubt. So what are things that you can do in your normal conditions and to avoid the burnout to begin with? And I think there are a number of things associated, actually. Six things, as I mentioned earlier, they think that you need to have talked about these six things all throughout my videos and podcasts, episodes and things of that sort. But the first one is social importance. You know, that that someone is feeling like they’re being able to interact with others in the same plight that they are. In the case of nurses or, you know, the analysts obviously got together, Goldman Sachs, and we’re able to make some movement there. But you need to feel that you’re part of.
[00:06:47] Almost a culture, a society, I guess, of people in that that social importance becomes very high with individuals.
[00:06:57] The second is having a clear future. You know, once the light at the end of the tunnel, you know, if you’re an analyst, that’s entry level, then you’re, you know, what’s the clear future? When will it end? And I think that that probably added stress to workers like nurses because you never knew when it was going to end.
[00:07:16] Then there’s personal control and freedom. And one of the things that if you notice in the Goldman Sachs thing is you you’ve be micromanaged, whether it’s nurses or anybody else, then it just adds to the stress associated with what’s going on. You need some degree of personal freedom over your job, over the even the working hours that you have and things of that sort.
[00:07:43] A fourth thing is being equitable and fair, if there’s any, especially under stressful situations, if if things are not equitable, if they’re not fair within your organization, you don’t think things are fair, like the analysts didn’t think that it was fair at Goldman Sachs, then obviously that’s something that needs to be paid attention to.
[00:08:04] And it looks like the Goldman Sachs CEO has come out and said, hey, we’re going to make some changes associated with it if anything is greater good. Now, I don’t know about Goldman Sachs being money motivated. If that was the reason that you went into it, you’re already starting from a place that is, you know, I want to make the most money that I can. Very few people I’ve found are actually money motivated. That will last a long time, that there has to be some greater good associated with it. And that’s why I think nurses and doctors and professions like firefighters and police and things of that sort, they really are committed to making changes that are for the greater good of society. And so that sustains you, you know, in that environment is that, you know, you’re doing something to help, but stress is still associated with it.
[00:09:05] And then the sixth thing is this tie back to the customer that I’ve talked about. And I’ll put the link back to the previous episode. There was around February 3rd where I did one on, you know, the the functional connection to the customer. So put a link into that. But but it’s in essence that the more we feel tied to a customer. So if you’re a nurse and your patient’s right there, that that’s very helpful. And that’s so helpful. If you’re in a contact center and you’re talking to somebody over the phone, you never get resolution on what happens because you had to pass it off to somebody else or you don’t have the ability to help that customer to the greatest extent that you can. It’s that close your connection that to know that you’re able to help someone and some might say this is greater good, but I see as something slightly different is getting this tie back to the customer. So that’s the sixth thing. And I also don’t going to make mention of that. We need to be making less stress on customers, too, because, you know, if they’re burned out at their jobs and they’re calling your organization and your organization is causing them more stress, you know, you’re going to see not only your employees feel that and add to their stress, but customers don’t need any additional stress.
[00:10:25] And this is what my executive education program covers, all these things. And my business advising component is, in essence, around building a better organization that’s so much focused on stress, mitigating the stress. And as much as I am eliminating the stress by designing a better system where you can tap into people’s innovation, you can tap into better decision making, you can tap into the data analytics in an appropriate way.
[00:11:04] All these things, including the design of your organization, are better ways to go about, and you can do this by assessing your own organization. So that’s what I want to cover this week. And, you know, it’s been a big topic. So hopefully learn something that’s helpful for your organization in this.