Burnout continues to rage. We're seeing it, we're feeling it, and mental health and talent attrition data back this up.
Companies and leaders are well-intentioned in their collective approaches to managing and mitigating burnout. But I think one critical lever is yet to really be pulled.
I'm seeing organizations utilize, most commonly, the following strategies to mitigate burnout:
- Wellness Benefits: Company-sponsored yoga classes, access to free counseling, mental health days...
- Workload Reduction: Efforts...not always successful...to strip out non-essential projects or meetings
- Boundary Management: Attempts to respect...again not always successfully...people's need to balance work and personal - and stating limits that allow for success in all facets of life.
These are all great mitigating strategies. But are they solving - like, truly getting at the heart of - the problem?
These strategies all presume burnout is largely an issue of quantity. That overload and volume are the core drivers.
But burnout is bigger than size. It's also - equally, if not more so - about interest, engagement, creativity.
So enter the untapped solution: Innovation.
I don't mean Steve-Jobs-Elon-Musk-Richard-Branson-style Innovation.
I mean a focus on - an investment in - daily practices, actions, and behaviors that infuse a creativity into the DNA of doing business, daily.
I mean open invitations to teams to pose questions - those coming from a place of wonder, of curiosity. I mean a willingness to make small tweaks to processes and services. I mean calling meetings whose purposes are to explore, to debate, to expand minds into new territories.
Burnout isn't just a quantity problem. It can also stem from disengagement, from boredom, from feeling underutilized from a content and imagination perspective.
What do you think? I'd love to hear your ideas.