Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Executive burnout and what to do about it

What would happen if you disconnected from work? Research suggests high achievers are wired to work and find it difficult to relax when they know something hasn’t been completed. It’s called the Zeigarnik Effect and technology makes it harder than ever for executives and managers to unwind.

In a classic report at the Harvard Business Review (HBR), executive burnout was identified as a serious problem cutting across executive and managerial levels in an organisation. Overly conscientious employees – often your best people – are also susceptible to burnout, especially if you rely on them to help shoulder the demands of the organisation.

According to the HBR report, burnout and mental stress are more likely to occur under competitive conditions than in a stable market. With the downturn in the natural resources industry and an end to the mining boom this means Australian management teams, in particular, are susceptible to burnout.

The cost of burnout is real

Stress and mental fatigue cost an estimated $10 billion to Australia’s business sector every year. One of the best ways to combat this is to ensure everyone in your organisation – from the chief executive down to the student intern – is getting enough time to recharge their batteries away from work.

Prevention is the best cure

To reduce the likelihood of stress-related disease, give hard-working employees time off from job demands to spend in recreation, advises HBR. The military knows this – they have a culture of R&R – but business management hasn’t quite learned the lesson. To ensure people break from work, have forced office closure during the holidays. Another idea is to take a whole group on a short business trip with a focus on recreation.

“Some companies have set up regular formal retreats where people who work together under pressure can talk about what they are doing and how they are doing it, make long-range plans, relax and enjoy themselves, and, most important, get away from what they have to cope with every day. When managers talk together in a setting like this, they are able to make realistic assessments of the problems they are up against and their own responsibilities and limitations.”

It’s important to consider it’s not only executives and managers who benefit from these sorts of retreats. The goodwill and camaraderie fostered within a team when every member is allowed to relax and participate is invaluable. Not only will they be more productive when they get back to your office or worksite, they’ll have greater insight into their co-workers and increased loyalty towards the organisation.

How Private Properties can help combat burnout in your organisation

We have a number of large properties suitable for work retreats. If you have a larger group, we can organise multiple properties in close proximity. Every one of our houses delivers a luxury experience for guests in the most beautiful locations in Australia’s South-West. In addition, we’ll work with you to set up the perfect itinerary for activities, dining and relaxation to help recharge your team for future performance.

Get in touch with us and we’ll help you plan the perfect business trip for your team.

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