The relentless demands placed on leaders in the workplace are leading to increased rates of burnout. Recent research has unveiled an alarming trend: leaders and managers are more susceptible to burnout compared to their employees due to the high levels of responsibility, pressure, and expectations they face. A study published in the Journal of Occupational Health Psychology found that leadership burnout rates have been steadily rising, with nearly 60% of leaders reporting symptoms of burnout. This issue not only impacts individual wellbeing but also hampers team productivity and organisational success. So how can businesses combat leadership burnout? 

Identifying Burnout 

The first step in combating leadership burnout is to recognise its signs. Leaders often push themselves to the limit, which can lead to physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion. Pay attention to signs like chronic fatigue, decreased performance, mood swings, and detachment from work and personal life.  

Download our Recognising Burnout: A Guide for Leaders and Managers here. 

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Foster Supportive Leadership  

Create an environment where leaders feel comfortable discussing their challenges openly. Regular one-on-one meetings to address concerns and provide support can make a significant difference. Research from the Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies highlights that leaders who receive social support experience lower levels of burnout.  

Promote Work-Life Integration  

One major contributor to burnout is the blurring of lines between work and personal life. Leaders are often “on” even after office hours, which can lead to constant stress. Advise your leadership team to set clear boundaries – encourage them to disconnect from work emails and calls during non-working hours. This will allow more time for individuals to prioritise recovery activities such as sleep or engage in hobbies that ‘re-charge’ their batteries. Research from the Skyline Business Journal showcases that employees who maintain healthy work-life boundaries experience reduced burnout and increased job satisfaction.  

Embrace flexible work arrangements that allow team members to balance their responsibilities effectively. Remote work, flexible hours, and job-sharing can all contribute to reducing burnout rates. Studies published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine demonstrate that flexible work options led to improved mental health and decreased burnout.   

Leadership Wellbeing Programs:   

Leaders spend a lot of their time looking after others, but who is looking after them? Invest in wellbeing programs that focus on enhancing mental resilience and stress management. These programs take a proactive approach to burnout by equipping your leaders with the tools they need to navigate high-pressure situations more effectively and prioritise their own wellbeing. 

Ideal for leaders and managers, Better Being’s High Performance Program is a 12-week group activity focused program, based on the gold-standard framework for workplace wellbeing – PERMA4+ model – and is designed to create positive behaviour change, elevate your health and fitness and enhance performance in the workplace.