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Burnout Sucks!

burnout May 09, 2024

Burnout sucks your confidence, your self-worth, your relationships, your clarity, your decision-making ability, your trust, your energy, your health, your sleep, your life.

Every part of your life is impacted when Burnout knocks on your door.

The World Health Organisation when they categorised Burnout in 2019 called it a workplace syndrome and said it could only be related to the workplace.

A three-year research project conducted at KU Leuven proved that Burnout is not just limited to work and the workplace.

And for anyone that has experienced Burnout, you'll know it's a lot more than workplace stress.

And yet when it does relate to the workplace, our addiction to work is what becomes the most overwhelming part. It's the most obvious sign, and the one we often ignore.

You panic at the thought of taking time away from work.

You can't think about anything other than work.

You eat, sleep, and breathe work.

You're checking your emails and your phone every five seconds.

You panic about...

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Burnout In The Boardroom: What's The Cost?

burnout coaching leadership Mar 13, 2024
  • In 2023 AXA Reported that Burnout was costing the UK economy £28bn a year.

  • Harvard Business Review reported that in the US, the cost of Burnout was more than $500bn a year.

  • WHOOP Unite reported that the costs to the global economy are more than $1 trillion a year.

  • WHOOP also estimated that the cost of turnover for each person is 1.5 to 2 times their salary in both loss of knowledge and skills, and the cost to hire someone new.

And it doesn’t stop there.

Varying reports and surveys from Gallup, Workhuman, Deloitte and Harvard Business Review over the years have stated that between 62% and 70% of Executives are or have considered leaving their jobs for workplaces that care more about wellbeing, and in the same studies, 50% to 60% of people outside of management roles want to quit for similar reasons.

Yet still, so many Exec teams refuse to admit that Burnout is a thing that’s worth focusing on or talking about.

Studies show that 65% of leaders have...

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HR Burnout Is Real - Why Are The Numbers Rising?

Behind all the statistics, data, and numbers, are people.

People who are experiencing Burnout. 

The number of people experiencing Burnout has increased significantly since 2019, and in three sectors specifically, Healthcare, Education, and HR.

Why?

2020 was, not surprisingly a tough and challenging year. Overnight people were forced to work from home or stopped working immediately, and this took its toll on our lives in many different ways.

HR was being asked to do more to look after the wellbeing of people across organisations, and it seemed, that for once, HR teams were actually being seen for the value they create, often behind closed doors.

Constant changes, the need to keep people informed and engaged, new policies and ways of working, and the ongoing pandemic, began to take its toll on everyone.

Many in HR were juggling all the home and school challenges, whilst working harder and longer to take of everyone in the organisation. 

Here in the UK, the...

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Why I'm Declaring 2024 The Year Of The Happy, Healthy HR Pro

burnout hr wellbeing Dec 07, 2023

I'll never forget the day that the call came to tell me my replacement had died.

I was on a Mastermind day, I'd seen a couple of missed calls and I stepped outside into the courtyard during the break. The sun was shining, my energy was high, and I thought the call would be good news.

I don't remember how I responded.

I felt a mix of emotions and I wasn't sure how to process any of it.

Two days later, the call came to let me know that I'd not been the first HRD in the organisation to have become seriously ill.

Something inside me changed that week.

I'd left my corporate career to start my multi award-winning People and Change Consultancy. We were doing great work, working with great clients, making great money, and doing things differently, but my contact with the CIPD took me down a different path.

I'd reached out to them to ask what support was available for HRDs. To find out how many of us were becoming ill as a result of workplaces. And to see what was being done to support our...

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Self-care isn’t a one and done (and neither is wellbeing in the workplace)

burnout coaching leadership Nov 21, 2023

Shall we play a game of true or false?  Come on, it’ll be fun!

Ok, here goes.

I ran a 5k once so now I can just put on my running shoes and run a marathon – true or false?

I did some reps with my 15 kg dumbbells so now I’m ready to win the Olympic weightlifting team – true or false?

Ok, how about this one …

I went to bed really early last night as I’ve been feeling a bit run down over the last few weeks, and I can now limit my sleep for the rest of the year and stay healthy – true or false?

In case you need me to tell you the answers, they are false, false, and false, but you know that already.

So why when it comes to wellbeing in the workplace do you think that one event a year is going to make the difference for you and your people?

When I started my career in HR back in 1998, I wanted to stop the Monday-to-Friday dying syndrome that I saw so many of my friends and family experiencing on a daily basis. 

I genuinely wanted to...

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Weekends: Rest, Recharge or Recovery?

burnout coaching hr Nov 05, 2023
 

What do you use your weekends for?

Rest, recharge, or recovery?

In the months and years leading up to my Burnout, weekends were about recovering from the work week that had been, and then just like a wind-up toy, I’d pop back into action, back into robot mode for the next week.

And like clockwork, I could tell you when I’d crash during my Christmas break, once I’d been the hostess with the mostess for family and friends for three days.

And not forgetting my summer holidays where I’d ended up with ‘flu’ aching and unable to move, but I forced myself to have fun with my family so that I didn’t disappoint them.

During the lead-up to Burnout, the stress is what keeps you going. 

The good old primitive brain and the fight/flight response keep you moving to try and keep you safe.

In the days of hunter-gatherers, you wouldn’t sit down and have a break and a picnic with your friends whilst surrounded by wild animals, you’d be eaten alive,...

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Are You a Primitive Leader Or An Innovative Leader? And why you're currently more primitive than you think

Currently, without even realising it, many more of you will be Primitive Leaders, rather than Innovative Leaders, and it’s impacting you, your people, and your performance.

Here’s why!

As your stress levels increase you move from the intellectual part of the brain, the part that always gets things right in life, innovates, and sees possibilities, to the primitive part of the brain, the part where your fight and flight sits, the part where you can operate from previous patterns of thoughts and behaviours, the part that sees you in panic mode, always on the lookout for the next imminent danger.

The primitive part of the brain is what kept the hunters safe when we all lived in caves. It wasn’t weighing up whether any of the wild animals had eaten and encouraging you to sit down in the middle of the field and have a picnic with your friends, it was keeping you on red alert, and keeping you safe.

And it’s this red alert, that many Exec teams have been living...

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The Gender Gap and why #EmbracingEquity won’t fix it!

burnout leadership Mar 08, 2023

The Gender Gap and why #EmbracingEquity won’t fix it!

Today we’ll see our feeds filled with stock photos of women hugging each other and themselves, we’ll see organisations talking about all that they are doing to #EmbraceEquity in their organisations whilst they bring out the bunting and balloons and provide a round of applause to all of the women in their workplace.

Don't get me wrong, I love a celebration (as long as it's a quiet, not over-stimulating one), and I love celebrating the incredible women in my life and in the world. But I’m done with paying lip service whilst we still see very little actual change in practice. And, until there actually IS equity, for all, there's nothing to embrace!

Unless you’ve been hiding under a bush for the last few years, you’ll know that I talk about Burnout A LOT! And whilst I work with men and women, the number of women I work with, who all come to me with the same issues as clients, or just to...

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Self-sabotage

burnout coaching wellbeing Feb 17, 2023

How can we raise our awareness of what's happening to us when we self-sabotage and are there any repeating patterns we can look out for?

I’m not perfect and I still have these old patterns and old behaviours of self-sabotage that can still come up to the forefront, either when I’m not in my best place or if I’ve been letting go of my non-negotiables.

What happens to our brains, to our thoughts when we end up in this fight, flight, freeze mode? What can happen when our stress levels increase and when we’re not putting our wellbeing first and doing what is best for us?

It’s in this state that we can fall into our old patterns and even though we know that we’re doing things that aren’t good for us, there is that part of our brain that just tells us to keep going.

I invite you to give the self-sabotaging part of you a name. I’ve got 3 parts that I recognise within myself. Twins called Edna and Edith and The Warrior within. 

If you...

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The True Cost Of Burnout

The True Cost of Burnout

Burnout, as we know, is chronic workplace stress, and it sucks! It takes a long time to take hold of you and a long time to recover from it. And still, the number of people reaching burnout continues to rise. And it’s probably no surprise that after the last few years, with global events our need to keep pushing, the increase in stress levels, and the need to prove ourselves worthy and good enough, have contributed to these growing numbers.

As we continue to move from one stressful event to another in our outside world, there doesn’t appear to be a time anytime soon that we’ll see burnout numbers decrease.

And I hate to be doom and gloom in your inbox, but if we’re going to reduce, or ideally prevent burnout, then something needs to change.

I keep seeing posts and articles about who is to ‘blame’ for burnout. Is it the employer or the employee? Surely if chronic workplace stress is what’s causing...

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