Workplace Burnout: Why Mindfulness and Change Management?
Updated: Jun 16, 2019
On May 2019, The World Health Organization (WHO) classified burnout as an "occupational phenomenon", which will be included in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).
“Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:
1. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion;
2. Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job; 3. Reduced professional efficacy" (WHO, 2019).
As a result, employee disengagement and presenteeism - working while sick can cause productivity loss, poor health, and emotional exhaustion, are on the rise. Organizations are looking to implement quick solutions. Wellness workshop and "yoga at the office" can have short-term gains, but creating sustainable impact requires a different perspective, in particular how the culture and current state contributes to workplace burnout. In order to create lasting change, executive leaders are required to correctly identify the problem, and offer a solution that takes into the account of resistance for change.
Integrating change management strategies, data analytics, and mindfulness training provides continuous improvement that can be measured. Promoting a shared understanding in collaborative teamwork, respect at the workplace, and empathy in experiential learning provides a bigger impact than policies and corporate governance alone.
For leaders in organizations looking for a sustainable solution in promoting workplace wellness, it takes an acknowledgement of the causes of suffering, and a commitment to alleviate suffering through wise action. This all starts with setting an intention of asking yourself "why now?"
1. World Health Organization (May 2019). Burn-out an "occupational phenomenon": International Classification of Diseases. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/mental_health/evidence/burn-out/en/