Burnout: a growing risk for leadership teams

When the World Health Organisation officially classified burnout as an “occupational phenomenon” in May 2019, nobody could have foreseen what was coming less than a year later with the COVID pandemic.

According to a recent survey by Deloitte, 77% of all professionals have experienced burnout in their current job[1]. Meanwhile, executive burnout has been on the rise for many years and the COVID pandemic has pushed this to new highs.

The Global Leadership Forecast 2021 from Development Dimensions International shows that nearly 60% of leaders feel used up at the end of the workday, a strong indicator of burnout. More concerning still is that 44% of those leaders expect to change companies in order to advance, and 26% expect to leave within the next year[2]. With such a significant impact on both individual wellbeing and organisational performance and progress, how can organisations begin to address the executive burnout risk?

The ENGAGE Burnout Risk Indicator (BRI) is a tool which predicts the likelihood of senior executives developing burnout, and shows the associated impact on performance, engagement and retention.

The tool uses Hogan profile data to assess the risk of burnout. Resulting insight helps organisations prevent burnout, reduce its risk or manage its impact. This helps to mitigate negative effects such as low productivity, absenteeism and attrition.The BRI operates at both an individual level and at an executive team level.

The Bright Side of personality, measured by the Hogan Personality Inventory (HPI), describes how we relate to others when we are at our best.

The Dark Side of personality, measured by the Hogan Development Survey (HDS), consists of qualities that emerge in times of increased strain.

The Inside of personality, measured by the Motives, Values, Preferences Inventory (MVPI), describes the core goals, values, drivers, and interests that determine what we desire and strive to attain.

The ENGAGE BRI helps organisations by:

  • Creating an early warning indicator: flagging where burnout is most likely to occur among executives and across teams
  • Building individual resilience among executives: providing a burnout risk profile for individual executives who can learn how best to build resilience against burnout, self-manage their own wellbeing and remain at peak performance
  • Facilitating early help-seeking : encouraging executives to ask for help based on their burnout profile
  • Enabling senior execs to spot the early signs of burnout in their team: by increasing awareness of the signs of burnout and the underlying factors associated with it
  • Providing support to executives and executive teams: through wellbeing coaching support or team-based advice on mitigating the risks of burnout

The BRI focuses on burnout among leaders and leadership teams specifically and provides a deeper understanding about what aspects of their leadership personality may be putting them more at risk of burnout. It flags how they can stay conscious of these issues and tackle them pre-emptively, provides advice on how to play to their strengths to mitigate burnout risk, and highlights the factors that are likely to increase stress. Additionally, it allows a team of executives to identify group resilience and talk about how they can work together to ensure they remain robust.

Based on Hogan’s own research[3] on the correlations between leadership dimensions and burnout, ENGAGE has now created an algorithm that enables us to predict risk levels amongst your own team.

Our approach creates:

1. A burnout dashboard into which your own executives’ individual data can be dropped. This generates a burnout risk index score for each executive and for the team as a whole:

  • Showing how at risk each member is and what contributes to their risk factors
  • Forming the basis of a report for both the individual and the team as whole

2. A focused burnout workshop where ENGAGE talks through the profile of the team and encourages executives to share their results; allowing the team itself to:

  • Talk through either recent or potential future situations that may trigger burnout
  • Create an action plan of how to mitigate those risks as a team

3. A burnout support plan resulting in both a team level plan and agreed individual support mechanisms for times when the team will come under stress or pressure in the future.

ENGAGE’s Burnout Risk Indicator is fully integrated with our suite of leadership, engagement and culture tools. We believe that truly outstanding performance and organisational transformation can only occur where great leadership and deep engagement happen together within the right culture.

Feel free to download a PDF factsheet about ENGAGE’s Burnout Risk Indicator or get in touch to talk to one of the team about how this might be of help to leaders in your organisation.

[1] https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/burnout-survey.html
[2] https://www.ddiworld.com/global-leadership-forecast-2021
[3] On Fire or Fizzling Out, August 2021, hoganassessments.com

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