The R3 Continuum Playbook: Workplace Stress and Burnout
Stress and burnout, says Dr. Tyler Arvig, Associate Medical Director at R3 Continuum, affects not just the health of employees but that of the overall organization. With numerous surveys and studies revealing that employee stress and burnout have risen dramatically over the past year, Dr. Arvig discusses signs to watch for and resources that can be employed to address these conditions. The R3 Continuum Playbook is presented by R3 Continuum and is produced by the Minneapolis-St.Paul Studio of Business RadioX®. R3 Continuum is the underwriter of Workplace MVP, the show which celebrates heroes in the workplace.
Intro: [00:00:00] Broadcasting from the Business RadioX Studios, here is your R3 Continuum Playbook. Brought to you by Workplace MVP sponsor, R3 Continuum, a global leader in workplace behavioral health, crisis, and security solutions.
Tyler Arvig : [00:00:15] Hi. My name is Dr. Tyler Arvig, Associate Medical Director at R3 Continuum. Over the past two years, we’ve seen a dramatic increase in stress and burnout in employees. Stress and burnout, if left unaddressed, can have a significant impact on the mental health and overall wellbeing of our employees and our organization. There are a handful of challenges that surround stress and burnout in the workplace. Stress and burnout affect every level of an organization, from the executive level on down.
Tyler Arvig : [00:00:51] Stress and burnout affect people really on three different levels, personal, professional, and organizational. They are also often multifactorial, which can make finding the root cause a challenge. Employees have been through a lot over the past two years. While it may seem like working from home, practicing social distancing, masking, temperature checks, and the like, are just second nature these days. Many impacts on employees have yet to be fully realized.
Tyler Arvig : [00:01:26] Over time, stress and burnout can slowly erode employees until that level of stress that they’re feeling just becomes normal to them. And, often, when that happens, it’s simply quite unhealthy. In a recent webinar by R3 Continuum, we asked our audience if they felt an increase in stress due to work over the last year. We’ve received over 800 responses, 94 percent of which indicated they felt an increase in stress over the last year due to work. In that same webinar, we asked our audience if they’ve experienced any form of burnout over the last year. Again, those same 800 respondents, 84 percent said they have.
Tyler Arvig : [00:02:19] We can see just based on these numbers – and by the way, there are several other studies out there that show essentially similar findings – the stress and burnout are real and they’re having significant impact on employees in all industries. Having a better understanding of stress and burnout and knowing different ways to address these are critical to maintain the mental health and wellbeing of our employees and also, parenthetically, ourselves.
Tyler Arvig : [00:02:54] There are many different signs or key indicators of stress or burnout. If you noticed early these individuals, what they’re experiencing can be drastically reduced. Having keen observation skills can help identify some of the signs in employees, such as unusual changes in mood, difficulty getting stuff done, increased cynicism, having constant negative thoughts, or a negative attitude, having difficulty concentrating, sleeping too much or not getting enough sleep, concerns about substance use or abuse, and feelings of hopelessness. If you see these things, that may indicate an employee who is struggling with some level of stress or burnout.
Tyler Arvig : [00:03:50] If you do observe the above in your colleagues or you notice them in yourself, it’s important to recognize and to try and address these things. When it comes to supporting coworkers, there are numerous approaches we can take. But one of the most important and also easiest to do is simply to stay in touch. Communication and having a positive attitude is really important. And positive attitude, in particular, can be infectious and help rub off on others.
Tyler Arvig : [00:04:29] Help a coworker take a break from a project, because that’s also going to help them to have a little bit of a break from the stress they might be experiencing. When connecting, it’s important to not ask invasive questions. But if the coworker is beginning to open up or share, share your own experiences with them if you’ve had a similar situation. This will help them to validate the feelings they might be experiencing and to feel less alone or isolated in what they’re experiencing.
Tyler Arvig : [00:05:02] Make time to connect with others also outside of work. Letting that coworker take a break from work interactions and unwind is also a good way to help support them. But be mindful in any of these things to maintain professional boundaries and, certainly, to keep any information that’s shared privately, private.
Tyler Arvig : [00:05:27] As mentioned earlier, stress and burnout can affect anyone in the organization. Whether you’re at an executive level or you’re an intern, self-care needs to be a priority. Take some time to step back from your work and recognize when you’re feeling stressed or when you’re feeling burned out. This is key to being able to be effective at work and also help those around you.
Tyler Arvig : [00:05:54] Leaders often feel stress and burnout and never address it because they’re too busy supporting others. However, if an executive is no longer feeling motivated or a passion for the organization, that will trickle down through the workplace and through the workforce. Ensuring executives know the importance of addressing mental health for themselves and their employees is a really good way to make sure that your organization is supported from the top down.
Tyler Arvig : [00:06:26] There are many resources available, some through your organization and others that are more open sourced. Your workplace will probably have an employee assistance program or EAP. Most EAPs offers several no cost counseling sessions available for situations just like we’re discussing. Your H.R. department may also have resources available. I would recommend that people consider also engage in psychotherapy if they are struggling.
Tyler Arvig : [00:07:03] It is easier than ever to utilize psychotherapy as telehealth has made it possible to engage in therapy with your computer or even your smartphone. You don’t even need to leave your home or your desk. There are also other options such as free apps you can get on your phone or your computer that might help provide some basic skills or tips for managing stress, anxiety, or depression. You could also consider mutual support groups. An example of this that everyone might be aware of are Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous. But these are groups were, essentially, people that are going through similar situations can help support each other. There’s lots of them out there, so utilize that. They don’t cost anything.
Tyler Arvig : [00:07:51] The point here is, you have many different options and nobody should hesitate to use anything and everything that’s available to them. Understanding the impact that stress and burnout can have on employees and knowing how to address these things properly can and does make a quantifiable difference on the health of your people and your organization.
Tyler Arvig : [00:08:17] R3 Continuum can help your organization support the wellbeing of your employees in many ways, including a service we call Proactive Wellness Outreach. To consult with an expert regarding your unique situation or to learn more about our custom solutions, you can contact us at www.r3c.com or reach out by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you very much.
R3 Continuum (R3c) is a global leader in workplace behavioral health and security solutions. R3c helps ensure the psychological and physical safety of organizations and their people in today’s ever-changing and often unpredictable world. Through their continuum of tailored solutions, including evaluations, crisis response, executive optimization, protective services, and more, they help organizations maintain and cultivate a workplace of wellbeing so that their people can thrive. Learn more about R3c at www.r3c.com.
R3 Continuum is the underwriter of Workplace MVP, a show which celebrates the everyday heroes–Workplace Most Valuable Professionals–in human resources, risk management, security, business continuity, and the C-suite who resolutely labor for the well-being of employees in their care, readying the workplace for and planning responses to disruption.