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10 April 2019 

Prejudices from managers towards employees with burnout

Prejudices from managers towards employees with burnout: When an employee suffers from burnout or burnout complaints, this is not only disastrous for the employee, but also the company can suffer. For managers, it is often difficult to find a balance between empathy towards the employee and the simple fact that work also needs to be done.  In these tensions and regularly prejudice arise, that is understandable. By means of this article we want to show understanding for this prejudice, but also to disprove the prejudices immediately. Especially when an employee wants to get back to work, it is important to recognize this prejudice and to do something about it. Otherwise, it could well damage the reintegration process.

Unfortunately, we see all too often that there is still to much prejudice among managers about a burnout.  

 

discrimination at work

 

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Do you want your employee to b100% again, just as he or she once was? Then it also requires attention from the manager or supervisor. It is important for you as a manager to delve deeper into a burnout. This way you avoid prejudice and annoying miscommunications. What are the complaints, what are the causes and how can you successfully encourage the employees to return to the workplace? To lend managers a helping hand, we have put the most common prejudices about burnout together and then, we will disprove such prejudice/s and explain them further: 

An Employee Presents Himself 

A burnout is difficult for many people to understand. Stress, work pressure, performance, we all have to cope with that? If the rest of the team can perform to the full 100%, why then, not this employee? Yet it is certainly not an appointment behaviour. A burnout is complete emotional exhaustion. This is often the result of too much stress both in the workplace and in private affairs. It is also worth noting that everyone is susceptible to burnout. There is still quite a taboo in relation to burnouts and mental disorders. When someone breaks his leg, it makes sense that he needs time to recover. This is the same with mental problems and burnouts. Nobody is waiting or wanting a burnout and everyone who is already struggling with a burnout wants to get rid of it as quickly as possible. But the process needs time.  

 

Nobody is waiting or wanting a burnout

 

A Complaining Employee  

People with burnout are often extra irritable and emotionally charged. When one thing does not go well, the whole world can turn upside down for someone with a burnout. It is certainly not normal behaviour, but it cannot be categorized as whining. As a manager, you have enough pressure yourself and the behavior can come across as just senseless moaning. Make sure you keep an open attitude to make the reintegration process as smooth as possible after a burnout. 

 

Stressed employees

 

What are the symptoms of burnout, do you know?

An Employee Creates a Burnout in Order Not to Work 

Nowadays it seems as if burnout is contagious. So many people are experiencing burnout. How can you determine if someone really has a burnout, or just wants to avoid having to work? Fortunately, this is not your job as a manager. A company doctor or psychologist specialist in these complaints and can determine whether there is actually a burnout. You can hardly imitate a burnout. Not everyone has the same symptoms and not everyone expresses his or her feelings. Did it all seem fine with the employee last week and this week he or she fails to show up now? Burnout out often interferes. Many people with burnout have for a long time outwardly performed better than they actually were internal. When the engine is really exhausted, then the burnout cuts the motor completely. Not everyone has the same clear complaints and can express themselves well. As a manager, you do not have to decide for yourself whether someone really has a burnout or not. An appointment with the company doctor can already exclude everything. 

 

Legitimate absence

An Employee Was too Weak 

How is it possible that one employee gets a burnout and the rest of the employees and supervisors do not? A bias opinion that often prevails is the idea that this certain employee was just not cut out for the job. You have to be able to handle something and nobody else suffers. Camps with burnout are already heavy enough, returning to work is a big barrier for many employees. When the bias prevails that you are too weak or do not perform well enough, it can provide extra pressure. As said, we are all susceptible to burnout if we have to deal with stress consistently for an extended period of time. Both people with very stressful jobs and people with relatively ‘normal’ jobs can get burnout. The fact that nobody else suffers from burnout complaints does not immediately mean that the employee is weak and does not fit well with the job. Often, it is stressful combinations of work and private life that do the damage.  

 

Employee resilience

 

So, Your Tired. You Can Still Work 

Pull yourself together and get back to work! Many managers run too fast when an employee experiences a burnout. On average, someone with a burnout needs 55 days to 100 days to recover. Then a reintegration plan is drawn up. Burnout is very different from being a bit tired. We are all tired sometimes.  

It is difficult to imagine what this emotional and physical exhaustion really means.  

A big mistake is that managers immediately expect too much from their employees who come back to the work floor. When you return to work immediately after a burnout, things can quickly decline into the same situation as was experienced at the beginning. It is important to slowly rebuild the work level. For example, it starts with a number of mornings and slowly but surely builds up. Working from home can also be a good option. There is less stimulus and a familiar environment creates less stress. People with burnout are not just a bit tired. It is important to investigate further into the actual complaints of the employee. A good conversation and continuing to communicate is strongly recommended. In this way, you both know where you stand.  

 

Do you really believe burnout exists amongst your organization? first, know exactly what burnout really is and how you as a manager can stay aware of the signs and symptoms before it starts to affect or even worse cost your company money. Burnout, Real? or Just an Excuse?

 

Employees Who Experience Burnout Never Return Completely Healthy Again 

Restoring a burnout requires time. It is more than just the annoying flu that heals after a few days or weeks. The recovery is different per person. After six months, one person is back again and working at an old level and the other will experience long-term complaints. This does not mean that full employability is not possible. Knowing how to deal with the reintegration process is crucial for a full recovery. When your employee can get back to work at a comfortable pace, he or she can get back on track. It is certainly possible to fully recover from burnout. It may need more time than other diseases and ailments, but it is certainly possible. Give it time and do not rush the process. This has a counterproductive effect.  

 

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Someone With a Burnout, Just Wants to Stay At Home Rather Than Work 

Stress complaints can increase when the employee is at work where the tension and pressure started. During the reintegration process, it seems as if the employee prefers to be at home, then at work. Great account must be taken over prejudice and pressure that comes with a reintegration process. For the first time working again and the fear of completely falling out again. People with a  burnout learn to listen to their feelings better and to indicate their limits. If the employee does not show up more often during the reintegration process, this may be part of the learning process. There is also a great fear of a recurrence. People with a burnout want nothing more than to work to their full capacity. It is important to see the difference between not wanting and not being able to. You do not have a burnout for the sake of having some time off, the employee prefers to work hard again rather than to be home. 

reintegration after burnout

 

Preventing Prejudice and Improving Performance 

It is important as a manager to continue to broaden your knowledge as to what burnout really is. By preventing prejudice, you can make the reintegration process a lot smoother. This goes both smoother for the employee and for yourself. It is important to keep communicating openly. Make sure you have the time for a separate conversation with the employee. That way, you know exactly what is going on and how you can help yourself and the employee. Nowadays almost everyone seems to have a burnout, there is a lot of miscommunication about what burnout really is. Prevent miscommunications and prejudices by advancing your knowledge on the matter. Burnout is no fun for anyone involved. Thanks to the right approach during reintegration, you can get your employee up and running again. 

 

Imagine a team that manages itself, delivers on time and is a positive and happy bunch of people to be around. Think of the effectiveness and edge this adds to your company as a whole. That can be your team!

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Who Are We?

Milltain, with a team of experienced trainers, supports organizations in the prevention of stress and the (re) finding of work happiness in the workplace. Our training courses are aimed at managers. A burnout quickly costs the organization € 70,000.

In addition to financial suffering, human suffering is high. Not only for the employee but also for close colleagues who have to deal with the blows. Before you know it you are in a negative vicious circle.

Do you want an effective approach to the prevention of stress and burnout (instead of continuously extinguishing fires)? Do you want to apply the learning goals so you can avoid absence?

 

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About the author
My name is Ruud Meulenberg. Owner and founder of Milltain and Meulenberg Training & Coaching.
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