October 31, 2022
Demanding Times and Deliverables Create Anxiety Overload and Talent Burn Out
Just as the pandemic becomes endemic, we can now lay claim to another global Epidemic, namely Anxiety and Burnout in the workplace.
Not entirely created by the unprecedented impact of Covid, but certainly heightened by it, mental health concerns about an overabundance of anxiety and burnout in the workplace are at an all-time high. So much so that the U.S. Preventative Services Task force, a panel of medical experts, recently recommended for the first time that doctors screen all their adult patients under 65 for anxiety. It made the same recommendation for children and teenagers earlier this year, all with the intent to help prevent mental health disorders from going undetected and untreated for years or even decades to come.
And that’s not all. After conducting its own research of the global workforce in 2021, Gallup declared that employees around the world are experiencing stress at an “all-time-high level, and worry, anger, and sadness” are still above pre-pandemic levels. Considered an “organizational risk”, they note that leaders who don’t pay attention to employee well-being can be blindsided by burnout of their top performers, and high quit rates.
“If anxiety is not your number 1 issue in the workplace, it should be number 1A.” Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick, Anxiety at Work, 2021
Before becoming an Executive and Leadership Coach, I spent the first two decades of my career running large scale PR and Marketing campaigns for both internal brands and at Marketing agencies, during the start of the Internet era. Exciting, yes, but talk about anxiety and burnout! I have personal experience and insight into the long hours and deliverable demands put upon Marketing teams, then and now. It’s true that the pandemic did not create burnout; organizations and certain professions had been experiencing it for many years before Covid (think healthcare, teachers, social-workers and the Tech industry, where burnout and long hours is somewhat of a badge of honor for start-ups).
Today I hear several times daily, from leaders and their staffs across industries and functions, about how burned out and anxious they feel, all the time. What’s worse, burnout can lead to Quiet Quitting --- that’s a new trendy term given to describe “not taking your job too seriously”. We’ve all had folks like these on our teams – the ones who do the bare minimum of work, or don’t go above and beyond, or focus more energy on life outside of work. Yet now, burnout is causing some high-performers to quiet quit.
How’s the mental health of your marketing teams? Are demanding deliverables and unrealistic work hours causing your star performers to burnout or quiet quit?
In the context of today’s business environment, where 30% of workers claimed in 2020 they were living with an anxiety disorder (and 42% of people in 20s), showering attention on staff and employees is one strategy for addressing the burnout and anxiety crisis facing global organizations today. That attention includes more frequent connection and communication with your teams; making sure members find purpose and joy in their work; and providing targeted growth opportunities and well-understood expectations about career paths for Millennials, GenZers and high-performers alike.
In their book, Anxiety at Work: 8 Strategies to Help Teams Build Resilience, Handle Uncertainty, and Get Stuff Done, Chester Elton and Adrian Gostick declare that in order to retain the best young workers, and reduce unnecessary career anxiety in their people, it is vital that leaders address concerns about job security, growth and advancement.
Having grown up as ‘digital natives, the authors note, Millennials and GenZ workers in particular are more anxious about their jobs as a result. While Millennials are looking for job security, more than 75% of GenZ workers believe they should be promoted after a year on the job. Leaders must recognize that it’s that nagging anxiety in their employees’ minds that will eventually impact how productive or committed they are when it comes to the work they do.
No matter what causes the anxiousness, or what Generation your staff members associate with, here are some ways Marketing leaders can engage to address staff burnout and anxiety and get things done:
We can help Marketing leaders and teams address the organizational risks of too many deliverables and demanding hours that lead to burnout and quiet quitting. Our Addressing Burnout and Beating Anxiety programs range from lunch and learns for covering the basics, to on-site or virtual, interactive training and coaching programs that help build resilience strategies and beat anxiety.
Loretta is a leadership coach, executive advisor, trainer, and workshop facilitator who has inspired and coached many highly motivated professionals and teams in dynamic and constantly changing business environments. In 2004 she founded Loretta Stagnitto Leadership Associates, and in 2011 she launched The “I Know” System™ for Personal and Team Leadership Development. Loretta created this unique coaching methodology after years of interpreting how good managers become great leaders and how productive teams evolve into high-performing ones.
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