Learn more about burnout, its contributors and key strategies to address it for leaders, faculty, staff, and learners.
CHALLENGE THE PROBLEM
Burnout is Common
Burnout can occur in any occupational setting. It is a particularly common experience for faculty, staff, and learners in a medical, research, and academic community like Michigan Medicine. It can be characterized by emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a low sense of personal accomplishment.1 We must recognize that burnout, and its effects, can manifest in any occupation across our organization.
While current research has focused heavily on burnout among clinicians in the academic medical setting, it is important to acknowledge that everyone is susceptible over the course of their career regardless of their role. Burnout is a serious issue that may cause an individual to reduce work hours, or to leave their profession entirely.6,8
National Rates of Burnout
54% of physicians 2
Female physicians and physicians at the front line of service are at a greater risk of burnout
43% of Physician Assistants and Nurses 4
69% Residents 4
53% of Pharmacists 5
40% of Researchers 7
Michigan Medicine Rates of Burnout
Why Should You Care About Burnout?
Workplace burnout is not just a small thing that people need to figure out how to get over. It is a difficult and impactful reality that can lead to many negative consequences, including:
Organizational-level: at an institutional level, burnout can negatively impact culture and lead to loss of productivity and increased turnover.
Work-level: burnout can be detrimental to patient care, including patient satisfaction. It can also lead to interpersonal conflicts within a unit/department/team.
Individual-level: burnout can greatly impact ones physical health, and emotional and mental well-being as well as career.
UNDERSTAND MORE ABOUT BURNOUT
What does burnout look like?
Burnout can look like many different things. Individuals may be at different levels of burnout, which can range from neglecting personal care and needs, withdrawing, behavioral changes, to mental or physical exhaustion or collapse.
The three classical domains of burnout mentioned above can manifest in many different ways.
Examples of what burnout may look like, include but are not limited to:
Neglecting personal needs
Detachment from patients
Loss of joy in work
Image adapted from Executive Leadership and Physician Well-Being: Nine Organizational Strategies to Promote Engagement and Reduce Burnout 12.
What can contribute to burnout?
Organizational-level: leadership behaviors and decision-making, work expectations, culture.
Work-level: workload overload, inefficiencies, long hours, administrative burden, lack of autonomy or support.
Individual-level: self-criticism, over-commitment, coping strategies, work-home imbalance, no sleep or support.
Often these are referred to as the 'terrible too's': too much work, stress, paperwork, and too little sleep or compensation.
What does Wellness look like?
Having energy for work, or feeling energized by it
Feeling connected to people and purpose
Having flexibility between work and home
Feeling psychologically safe, where you can speak up with your ideas, questions and concerns, or even mistakes, without fear.
ENGAGE WITH TOOLKIT STRATEGIES
Individual interventions are necessary, but not sufficient, to address burnout. Interventions must also be focused at the organization and work levels in order to enact lasting change.9
Organizational Level (senior leaders and managers):
Identify burnout and engage in positive change
Consider well-being in decision making
Support policies and procedures that include well-being as part of daily practice
Create psychological safety, by making it safe to speak up. Find activities HERE.
Questions to ask as leaders:
Work Level (your teams):
Track and monitor well-being in your area. Measuring well-being has been shown to improve burnout and other wellness outcomes. 10
Practice High Reliability Organization (HRO) skills to improve team culture, foster a collaborative environment, and reduce burnout:
Utilize performance (e)valuations as an opportunity to identify how you can help your employees further their goals. Access HR's FY21 Valuation resources here.
Individual Level (you):
There are many coping and resilience strategies11 as well as mental health support services to help you at an individual-level. For more information, visit: