What if we’ve been looking at burnout all wrong? 

Everyone’s got their two cents on burnout. Some are quick to blame the younger generations, while others point fingers at overworked teams or toxic cultures.  

But here’s the twist: what if all this chatter about burnout is actually pouring gas on the fire? 

Are We Teaching People to Feel Burnt Out?

Let’s confront the truth head-on. Negativity about jobs and relentless burnout talk on social media and in the media have become the daily soundtrack.  

And guess what? When you listen to these refrains long enough, you start humming the same tune, convincing yourself that you’re burning out too. 

Now, let’s not kid ourselves. Some folks will always be burnt out, no matter the job or environment. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but not everyone is wired (or willing!) to handle stress and adversity.  

Unfortunately, we often tiptoe around this reality, hesitant to admit that some people simply lack the mental grit to tackle the less-than-thrilling aspects of work. 

Wishful thinking aside, it’s not always in our power as leaders or HR professionals to play the superhero and fix this issue for everyone. 

At the end of the day, two groups must stand up and shoulder the burnout burden in an organization. 

Leaders and Employees Must Share Responsibility

Leaders, step into the spotlight. It’s your arena to craft the atmosphere and relationships within your teams. These factors can either fan the flames of burnout or douse them with a much-needed splash of sanity. 

And on the flip side, employees, it’s time to seize the reins of your own destiny. Leaders can set the stage, but you can’t always blame someone else for your problems. If you’re not owning your job, your situation, or your stress levels, then things are never going to change for you. We all make choices in life – it’s time to take responsibility for your situation in life. 

So how can leaders lead the charge against burnout? Here are two radical steps to kickstart the change: 

Clarity of Roles and Expectations

Picture this: the stress of not knowing what’s expected of you at work. Employee experience suffers when you’re left in the dark about your manager’s expectations 

Team members thrive on clear expectations. It reduces anxiety and stress because it allows them to focus on getting the job done, rather than whether they’ve achieved enough for a given month, or even whether they’re focused on the right tasks! 

Whether it’s an unwarranted high bar or vague, low expectations, it’s chaos. Leaders, it’s time to communicate clearly what each team member’s role entails and the consequences if the performance doesn’t match the expectations.  

If you don’t set clear expectations upfront, you’re part of the problem. 

Give Credit, Not Blame

Here’s where some leaders take a nosedive into the burnout pit. They hog the limelight when the team triumphs but are quick to pass the buck when things go south. If your team feels like you’re pilfering their success, their motivation plummets.  

And if they’re the ones shouldering the blame for everything, regardless of fault, it’s time for some soul-searching. To put it bluntly, you’re adding fuel to the fire. 

Face the facts, leaders. As the team’s torchbearer, the buck stops with you. Minimizing burnout and boosting engagement means giving your team the credit they deserve when they succeed and owning up when the team fails. 

Not only will this help you combat burnout, but it will also inspire your team members to take responsibility for their work.  

No one wants to step up when everyone is playing the blame game, but if their leader acknowledges their own missteps, it sets the stage for a collective ownership mindset. 

You Can’t Always Prevent Burnout – But You Can Minimize It

So here’s the deal: leaders wield the power to transform their work environments. By clarifying roles, setting expectations, and promoting a credit, not blame, culture, they can be the force that snuffs out burnout. And when leaders step up, it’s time for everyone else to follow suit. 

It’s high time to flip the script on burnout. Instead of perpetuating the problem, let’s rally around responsibility and rewrite the workplace narrative. In this revolution, we might just unearth a whole new approach to teamwork, leadership, and collaboration that leaves burnout in the dust.