5 ways to open a conversation with your boss about burnout

BurnoutStressed woman suffering from a burnout expert Cara de Lange, founder and CEO of Softer Success explains how to approach the subject of burnout with your employer, and why now more than ever we need a good support system in place.

Does your company keep saying look after yourself, but they don’t offer any extra support or training? But you are scared and do not want to admit that actually you are feeling more stressed than ever. And overwhelmed. Do you need more care and support than your company is offering? A different understanding perhaps? Some organisations are holding on to training budgets which is understandable. But now is the time to take action on the wellbeing front. Acting now and providing training and advice can help prevent work related stress and burnout.

We are living in a very uncertain world. The World Health Organization warns of a mental health crisis arising as a ‘crisis from the crisis’ which results from ongoing isolation, uncertainty and economic hardship. A reminder that our response to this pandemic should not only include physical measures but ongoing and increasing mental health support.

Here are 5 ways to talk to your manager (or HR or CEO) about implementing a ‘prevent burnout ‘toolkit at work:

  1. Ask them about their own mental health first, how they are coping? How are they finding balance? Once your boss has shared – it is easier for you to talk about your own struggles which in turn can lead to a conversation about extra support.
  2. Do you actually know what the signs of burnout are and what exactly to look out for? Your boss may not know either, ask them. This again may open up a conversation about the need for more training on preventing burnout or mental health.
  3. Any action taken now can help prevent mental health issues and absenteeism further down the line. And there is a new phenomenon emerging; working from home burnout. The fact there is no actual ‘finishing’ time or boundaries is seeing people work longer hours than before. Ask your boss how they are looking to help with that?
  4. Mention this in your next meeting: Knowledge is power. The more we understand about burnout the better equipped we are to prevent it. Speak to some of your colleagues to find out if they need extra support, help or support on stress and how to manage fear & anxiety. Or ask them if they would like specific training on how to avoid burnout.
  5. Practise compassionate directness. Speak up, speak out and let them know how you are feeling.

Cara de LangeAbout the author

Cara de Lange is an international burnout expert, speaker and founder and author of Softer Success, empowering some of the world’s leading organisations and their employees to proactively prevent burnout. Cara’s powerful programme ‘Prevent Burnout, Find Balance’ enables individual clients and corporate teams to create a more harmonious, peaceful and productive life.

Cara is a sought-after keynote speaker on the subject of burnout and has been invited to speak at organisations such as Google, Box and European Women in Tech.  Her book Softer Success: Prevent Burnout, Find Balance and Re-Define Your Success, published in 2019 is available via Amazon, Waterstones and Barnes & Noble.


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