What is a “silent shutdown”? “Silent shot? How workers and employers can fight burnout

You don’t have to go far to find burnt-out, tired workers looking for a new job.

“We don’t get paid enough to do half of what we do now,” Robin Kristoff said.

Her best friend, Lidiya Poltavskiy, agreed, saying, “We feel practically exhausted. And then on your days off, you have no energy for life. I had to force him out with me today.

The couple work as hairdressers at competing salons and both have said they are close to quitting.

“I don’t feel the same. Sometimes I feel like a shell. Do you know what I’m saying?” Kristof said.

“I had to reduce my hours this week, because I’m constantly going to give myself nerve injections because I’m on my feet all the time,” Poltavskiy said.

“The last place I worked she was running 20 different stores and I don’t understand how you can do that as one person,” Kristoff said.

Worker burnout is getting worse, according to Indeed, a giant job aggregation site. Its survey of 1,500 American workers compared the 2021 results to a pre-pandemic study.

It revealed that more than half (52%) of respondents felt exhausted. And more than two-thirds (67%) believe the sentiment has worsened during the pandemic.

Those who work virtually are more likely to say that burnout has gotten worse during the pandemic (38%) than those who work on-site (28%).

“We see everywhere we go if the employer is not tied to the values ​​of the employee, and vice versa, then what we see is more burnout, more disengagement because they don’t see the interest in being there,” David said. Strubler, a professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership at Oakland University. “There’s no doubt that burnout causes people to leave now, there are other things that happen with burnout, ‘I get cynical, I get toxic, I get negative.’ And of course that has a terrible effect within the workforce, because you end up with a whole culture of toxicity.

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“Quietly take it easy” is the latest workplace buzzword that’s getting a lot of attention. Definitions vary – some focus either on setting realistic limits to prevent burnout, or on not going the extra mile at work.

“You mentioned that phrase, ‘quiet resignation.’ In some ways, that might be unfair, because it views everyone as slackers. And, of course, there can be slackers, but there are people who have legitimate arguments about the idea that ” Well, you want me to lay down my life for work and be this so-called ideal worker,” and companies love the expression of organizational citizenship behavior, i.e. unpaid work. But at the same time, you can’t have a sustainable organization where there’s no trust,” said Jeffery Sanchez Burks, professor of management organization at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business. “This notion of the ideal worker in the past, where you separate your personal life and focus on your professional life, at least at work, is not sustainable.”

Both professors said tackling worker burnout and “silent quitting” requires setting boundaries and having open dialogue.

“One thing that employers need to pay attention to is that they often think, ‘Oh, the most important thing is that you’re here from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. But what if I take a “quiet stop” at work? Because I can’t manage my professional life and my family at the same time. So my productivity goes down,” it costs a lot of money,” Strubler said.

Strubler said replacing a worker who quits costs the company about 45% of the worker’s salary.

“Just imagine that 45% of their salaries, which should encourage employers to start, create environments of civility, environments of respect, environments of engagement,” he said.

“I have a wonderful colleague, Amy Roseneski, at Yale, who talks about purpose, and if we can find purpose in our work, then this whole facet of life can be so much more rewarding,” Sanchez Burks said. “And while we want to think about ways to make work more rewarding for us personally, at the same time, I think it’s entirely legitimate for people to say that my whole non-work life means a lot. with my family, friends and our pets etc matter and so I need to create a life that allows me to devote the energies I want to that as well.

Then there’s the “silent onset” phenomenon, when you feel like you’ve been given no choice but to quit. For example, if you’ve been overlooked for promotions or if you haven’t gotten a raise in years.

“Companies don’t listen to the people who work for them,” Poltavskiy said. “And then the people who have been loyal and who have worked through the whole pandemic and all that. They are just put on hold. And then they hire new people who don’t show up. They do nothing and get paid more than us, and that’s not fair. ‘So what are the solutions to combat worker burnout?’ Just listen to what your employees are saying, don’t say, “Well, I’ve been doing this for so many years.” Well, it’s clear that something is wrong because everyone stops. So listen to the people who actually work for you, not what you think is right.

Companies can take certain steps to retain quality workers.

“Before the pandemic, many organizations, many leaders thought things like emotional intelligence or empathy were things that would be great if I had it, but I don’t need it,” Sanchez said. Burks. “I have a lot of work, the times are good and so on. Now, I don’t find so many leaders so cavalier. They’re hungry to find ways to connect more closely with their workforce, with new talent, with…trying to make sure that when people start, if they’ve hired them, they stay and don’t leave after the first day, which also happens.

There are limits to the fight against worker burnout. Not everyone can quit until they find a better fit, and not everyone can work remotely.

“A clear limit to anything I’ve said is that I’ve completely omitted entire discussions of wages, and what is a fair wage and what is a fair distribution among shareholder profits and wages and profits or profits, they should go to wages,” Sanchez told Burks. “No amount of empathy can compensate for the fact that fair compensation is important.”

“We’re in what we call the hyper modern world now – hyper speed, hyper anxiety, hyper individualism, hyper everything,” Strubler said. “And because of that, it is the context in which we swim, so to speak, the sea in which we swim. This is a limit we face. But we have to find a way to do it.

“I’m optimistic about the number of companies and the number of leaders taking this seriously, that if we come up with a more empathetic approach to organizing, we’ll have something more sustainable in people’s lives,” Sanchez says. Burks. “It’s going to help them with happiness, which we know is at an all-time low. We’re under stress, which is extremely high with burnout with unfair compensation. It’s an interesting time, an interesting reckoning and I am optimistic that relevant issues are being addressed, and I believe this increases the chances that they will receive the attention they need, rather than just being swept under the table.

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