The ways burnout manifests itself can range drastically – for some, its aggressive behaviour at work; for others, it’s downing a few extra glasses of wine at home.
No matter what the signs, the results are the same. And as one expert warns, there can be a fine line between extreme stresses turning into clinical depression.
“It’s a fine line between stress and dropping into something that could be defined clinically as depression,” says Stephanie Thompson of Insight Matters. And if it’s the brokers and support staff within your team that are feeling the pressure, it’s vital not to ignore their needs.
“As things start to pick up more generally, employees will exercise their right to vote,” says Steve Ewin, of management consulting firm Hay Group. “In other words, they’ll leave.”
And the numbers don’t lie. Employees are burning out due to a lack of work-life balance, and many are looking to jump ship. Hay Group’s research shows more than one in four employees at organisations who are failing to allow work-life balances are planning to leave, finding the amount of work unacceptable.
Some remedies are more obvious than others. Ewin explains that businesses have been resistant to take on more staff for some time, but expecting your team to do more for less can see them reach breaking point.
He adds that showing a bit of gratitude goes a long way: “It doesn’t cost anything to say thanks, especially when it’s genuine.”
While insurance brokering is a mobile working environment which can allow for the increased work-life balance that working from home can offer, the same technologies that allow this may be fostering an unhealthy working attitude amongst colleagues.
“A lot of people carry their work with them 24/7. The culture has changed to where people think nothing of calling a person after-hours or whilst they are on leave,” says Robyn McNeill of beatingburnout.com.au.
While shooting off a quick email is sometimes necessary, Ewin adds that expecting your staff to answer them late at night needs to change.