At first we thought this was an Onion spoof. But, it’s not.
The World Health Organization has recognized burnout as an occupational phenomenon. It is not classified as a medical condition, yet. In this context, burnout refers to work-related stress and comes with an ICD-10 and ICD-11 code listed under “Problems associated with employment or unemployment”.
According to the health guidelines, burnout is categorized by the following symptoms:
- Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
- Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job
- Reduced professional efficacy
Senior living and burnout: perfect together?
Learning of this development worried us. Senior living is a high stress environment. The demands of caring for the elderly and those with disabilities and memory challenges can be draining and exhausting work (in addition to rewarding and fulfilling). Turnover challenges place consistent staffers under even more stress to cover vacancies. Add in to this equation that many who work in senior living have other major life stressors, on a basic needs level, that only compounds their work stress. Living off a minimum wage salary, transportation issues, personal medical problems, child care challenges, caring for a sick parent or loved one…
Wouldn’t it be easier to work in fast food?
Wouldn’t it be less stressful to work in retail?
We thought of the leaders too. Senior living leaders have many unique challenges that even despite their best efforts can be out of their control at times. Burnout seems a likely endpoint for many in senior living leadership who are overworked, under-supported and bathed in negativism.
If only I was supported more.
If only I felt this was all worth it.
If only I could make a difference.
Is it possible that some of your staff are going out on disability for burnout? It’s not out of the realm of possibility that this could happen, or already has! And if it catches on, the turnover and staffing challenges we face in this field would only get worse.
What needs be done to prevent burnout in senior living?
- Culture needs to be prioritized and values lived
- Leadership needs to be positive, resilient, encouraging and alwayssupporting culture
- Employees need to feel supported and heard
- Analysis needs to be performed to address challenges in staffing logistics
How can resident-centered care be the focus of team members who don’t feel cared for themselves?
It’s not all rainbows and unicorns when we say that supported and celebrated team members engage more fully in their work and ACTUALLY LIKE COMING TO WORK … studies show it! Great leadership is key to avoiding burnout in your organization and the good news is, great leadership can be learned! Do leaders at your organization take the time to connect with their team members? To reward great work and acknowledge great effort? To celebrate more than criticize?
To avoid burnout in your organization, take care of your people – all of your people! Leverage your great culture to make that happen! If you don’t have a great culture, you know where to find us!
We’ll delve more into the data analysis you SHOULD be performing to really understand your turnover and your staffing obstacles in our next blog…stay tuned.
Could your leadership team use a refresh? Send us a message if you are interested in learning more about the 30-Day Leadership Challenge and how we can help you elevate and engage your leaders!