Burn-out: The Symptoms and the Treatment
As the economy continues to churn, and despite experiencing five of the 15 costliest global catastrophes in the past two years, the outlook for the Property and Casualty Insurance industry has remained positive. With this favorable outlook, many insurance professionals are finding themselves with multiple career advancement opportunities. This candidate-driven market, combined with the newest workplace epidemic (burn-out) could be contributing to the increase in turnover rates
According to the Workplace Institute, one in four employees will quit this year, with one in three voluntarily leaving their jobs by 2020. One of the growing reasons for this exodus is burn-out.
We’ve all felt it. Those days when just the thought of going into work makes you exhausted or turns your good mood into a sour one. You experience a lack of motivation, feel overwhelmed, and make more mistakes than normal. The longer the feeling continues, the worse it gets until it becomes a major problem. You just feel…burned out.
You aren’t alone. The World Health Organization recently declared burn-out an official medical diagnosis. Scientists have been studying burn-out and its effects since the 1970s, and it’s time to start taking it seriously. By recognizing the symptoms and finding ways to prevent burn-out, you can better the mental health of your employees and have a positive impact on your bottom line.
The Symptoms of Burn-out
Burn-out is the result of a lack of balance between personal and work life. While the symptoms of burn-out can apply to other parts of your life, WHO advises burn-out refers “specifically to phenomena in the occupational context and should not be applied to describe experiences in other areas of life.” Symptoms include:
- Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
- Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
- Reduced professional efficacy
These symptoms can result in a lack of production, and increased fatigue, irritability, frustration, and errors. All of these can culminate in a lack of motivation for team members and can have a negative impact on your bottom line.
Treatment for Burn-out
Burn-out in the insurance industry affects more than the person facing it. When one member of your team feels overwhelmingly negative and is failing to succeed, your entire team suffers. Here are a few ways you can prevent burn-out in the insurance industry and keep it from becoming a chronic issue at your company:
- Celebrate successes. No matter how small, every goal met makes a difference. By acknowledging daily accomplishments and recognizing successful team members, you increase team motivation. By counteracting negativity with positivity, you can boost the morale of the employees feeling burn-out.
- Show employees the bigger picture. When setting goals for your team, make sure they see how those goals impact the goals to follow. When moving quickly from one goal to another, team members can feel like they aren’t making any progress. Connecting their performance to the company’s results makes team members feel like they are part of that larger picture.
- Create a plan. If you’re noticing an uptick in unhappy employees, it’s time to find out what those problems are. Pay attention to who works from home, stays late at the office, or skips lunch. Analyze those workloads and find out why they feel the need to work after hours. Create a burn-out prevention plan that enforces work hours, encourages breaks, and sets goals to preserving mental health in the workplace. This plan will make it easier to prevent burn-out and confront it when it occurs.
Burn-out is a problem that plagues every industry and insurance is not immune. Being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of and finding ways to prevent burn-out is crucial to the success of your employees and your insurance business. For more than 15 years, The James Allen Companies have been partnering with insurance companies to identify and hire leaders who help inspire their workforce and keep them engaged. To learn more, contact us today.