It is no secret that burnout is an increasingly common phenomenon in many of today's fast-paced, high-pressure workplaces, maybe you’ve even experienced burnout yourself. But the truth is, burnout affects almost everyone who works, regardless of gender, background or ethnicity.
Workplace culture plays a significant role in preventing burnout.
At times, despite our best intentions, our unconscious biases can cause us to classify others according to unfair and inaccurate cultural judgments and views, which are influenced by factors such as gender, race, or background.
When there are few women or people of color in positions of leadership in the workplace, employees who belong to these underrepresented groups may feel undervalued, excluded, or unable to see a pathway for professional growth for themselves within the organization.
Many people who belong to marginalized groups experience multiple forms of marginalization in their identity.
How can companies improve inclusivity at work??
Self-care is essential to prevent burnout and organizations can help to cultivate an environment where self-care is supported, encouraged and deeply embedded in the culture. Encourage your employees to take breaks throughout the day, offer opportunities to practice mindfulness and meditation, and respect employees to both take care of themselves and accomplish their weekly tasks. Leaders who allow their direct reports to manage their workload and take care of their individual needs build relationships based on trust, honesty, and respect which can foster a deeper sense of commitment.
Workplace culture plays a significant role in preventing burnout. Creating a supportive, inclusive, and psychologically safe work environment is crucial. You can cultivate this type of environment by providing a 1:1, confidential, and non-judgemental support space for employees to share any issues they might be facing at the organization. Make space for these employees to share what’s on their mind, listen with openness if they bring up something that might be uncomfortable to hear, and keep them informed on your plan of action for following up with any issues they might raise.
Burnout is not just an individual issue; it is also a systemic problem that affects entire organizations. Addressing the systemic issues that contribute to burnout is crucial in preventing it and it takes an honest look in the mirror which sometimes reveals more hidden inequalities. This is where mindfulness practice can support you and help you to address challenges in your organization with openness, curiosity, and without defensiveness. Addressing systemic issues will not only prevent burnout but will also create a more inclusive and productive workplace.
Employers can take steps to support their employees and create a more equitable and supportive workplace, which will benefit both the employees, no matter their identities, as well as the organization as a whole. By taking intentional steps, organizations can reduce burnout, support their employees and their well-being, as well as create healthier and more productive work environments.
Interested in learning how to make your workplace more human-centered? Check out the Search Inside Yourslf program.