In the past few months, we have seen the danger of letting our guard down too quickly. States lift restrictions only to re-impose them after another surge in Covid infections. Similarly, now is not the time for employers and business leaders to let their guard down when it comes to mental health. The stress and anxiety most of us have felt over the last year are not going to disappear magically. In some ways, it has worsened. Stress and burnout will undermine the recovery if we do not make well-being and mental health an urgent priority.
Just as we have seen the emergence of new variants of the virus, it also seems like we see new variants of burnout. Stress Awareness Month arrives at a perfect time for business leaders to be more mindful than ever of a holistic approach to well-being.
A new kind of burnout?
Gallup is out with a new report on what it calls The Wellbeing-Engagement Paradox of 2020. Their findings confirm and explain a pattern I’ve noticed with my individual corporate clients. When employees are engaged, burnout decreases, and productivity and well-being increase. Why? In almost every study on the topic, a sense of purpose and meaning rises to the forefront.
While engagement accelerated (to the shock of many), well-being and wellness plunged. Stress, worry, anxiety, beyond covid the disease permeated our conscious and subconscious stated. In the past, leader could rise up, solve problems, become innovators. But…now, the mojo seems to be gone even if they wanted to rise to the challenge. Exhaustion is the New Burnout.