Strategies for Prevention and Recovery

Burnout syndrome, once considered a “manager’s disease,” affects people across all industries. A slow-creeping form of exhaustion accumulated over years of perfectionism, stress, and overwhelm, burnout is not just reserved for the highest-ranking professionals. It can happen to anyone and shares many of the same symptoms as depression. If left unchecked, burnout can quickly develop into chronic depression and infiltrate all aspects of life.

The World Health Organization’s International Classification of Disease, characterizes burnout as ‘a state of vital exhaustion.’ At the extreme end there are people who entirely shut down and end up in the hospital; at the other end is someone showing signs of anxiety, low mood and feeling detached from day-to-day life. ‘That’s what makes it so insidious,’ says Brian Rock, psychoanalyst, clinical psychologist and director of education and training at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. He describes it as, ‘a drip, drip, drip. Patients will say: ‘I didn’t know this was happening to me.’ It’s like a mission creep of sorts, where you find yourself working a bit later, taking calls on weekends, being less inclined to play with your children or feeling more isolated and irritable.”

From Dying for a Paycheck author Jeffrey Pfeffer (HarperBusinessPress, 2018)

About this Course

This half-day offering is personalized and highly practical. Based on the latest behaviour change and burnout research, it is designed to go past the standard “talking points” lecture by giving you practical assistance in recovering from burnout as well as preventing it. You’ll know how to approach and support colleagues who are expressing burned out behaviours. You’ll also develop a burnout prevention/recovery strategy that can work for you individually as well as for your team and direct reports.

You’ll end the session with more than just motivation and knowledge; you’ll be equipped to take significant action.

See accompanying course: All about Stress

Course Outcomes
  • You’ll learn the harbingers of burnout and the impact it has on individual, team, and organizational health and success

  • You’ll be able to recognize burnout in colleagues, team members and direct reports
  • You’ll practice talking to someone who is experiencing burnout, employing tools such as the Communication Cheat Sheet
  • You understand the critical importance of resilience as well as how to cultivate it

  • You’ll analyze the results of the Maslach Burnout Inventory Toolkit*, helping identify and measure areas in your work life that increase or decrease the possibility of burnout

  • By applying the latest research in successful behaviour change, you’ll build a strategic plan to reduce and/or prevent burnout that can be implemented right away
  • You’ll leave the course with great enthusiasm for and confidence in the plan you’ve developed
  • In addition to feeling motivated, you’ll take home a list of online and digital resources for follow-up, offering advice, support, and treatment suggestions
Topics Covered
  • Know what burnout is and what it is not
  • Identify typical signs of burnout on the individual level
  • Analyze the results of the customized version of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) Toolkit*, by far the most widely accepted, validated, and reliable measurement tool for burnout
  • Apply Seligman’s 3 P’s to your (or someone else’s) experience of burnout
  • Identify burnout relief and prevention strategies that actually work
  • Learn how to skillfully intervene if necessary
  • Cultivate resilience to mitigate the effects of burnout
  • Develop a plan of action
  • Support and follow-up with online resources, where to go from here, etc.
  • Homework: execute the plan, follow-up with group or buddy, complete the Maslach Burnout Inventory Toolkit

Note that topics include interesting group processes designed to deepen awareness, build skills, enhance recall, and apply concepts.

*The Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) Toolkit is an introspective online psychological inventory consisting of 22 items pertaining to occupational burnout. The original form of the MBI was constructed by Christina Maslach and Susan E. Jackson with the goal to assess an individual’s experience of burnout by measuring three dimensions: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and personal accomplishment. Recognized as the leading measure of burnout, the MBI is validated by the extensive research conducted in the more than 35 years since its initial publication.

The MBI is part of this course: It is significantly customized for EGBC engineers and geoscientists. Delivery of the inventory varies depending on how the two courses are administered. Participants receive an email invitation to fill out the inventory online, after which they print detailed results documents and bring them to the burnout session for analysis.

Info & Contact

Session Length: Half-day In-house facilitated session 8:00 AM to 12 Noon or 1 PM to 5 PM (including two 15-minute breaks). Can also be combined with All About Stress half-day worship for a full-day of Worksmart training.

Includes: Comprehensive handouts and the invitation to complete the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) Toolkit* customized for engineers and geoscientists.

Relaxation Response Options: These are very short stress management techniques guided by the instructor (timing and selections will vary with each group): 5-minute head space, 4-6-6 reduction, mindfulness sitting practice w/ eyes closed and eyes open, short video vs. movement exercise, mindful movement w/ tai chi.

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Course Testimonials

I found the course fun, enlightening and extremely useful. During the class I had the opportunity to try out my new skills and insights I'd learned for successfully mediating a conflict. I highly recommend this course for other managers.
Karen Cook, APR, General Manager & VP, Client Services James Hoggan & Associate

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