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Coping with burnout

www.sentinelassam.com | December 21, 2023

The tech industry has seen more than 240,000 jobs lost in 2023, a total that’s already 50% higher than last year and growing. In early 2023, giants such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Meta, and Zoom

The tech industry has seen more than 240,000 jobs lost in 2023, a total that’s already 50% higher than last year and growing. In early 2023, giants such as Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, Meta, and Zoom executed their mass workforce reductions. This is just the tip of the iceberg. These statistics indicate a sharply increasing level of job insecurity worldwide, which is expected to worsen further with the onset of a global recession, as predicted by the World Economic Forum. The impact of job insecurity and unemployment is usually devastating, leading to burnout, chronic fatigue, and other psychological disorders.

This immense reduction in the number of employees, however, only accounts for less than 5% of the total startup layoff scenario globally (Business Line, 2023). This situation has resulted in around 24% of Indians feeling stressed due to job insecurity (ETHealthWorld, 2023). Dr. Saumya Mudgal, a senior consultant and psychiatrist, explained in IANS that the situation has led to an increase in the number of patients with panic attacks and agoraphobia (ETHRWorld, 2023). Most of these happen due to external variables that the company cannot control, such as the economic, political, and technological situations that impact the company. But what can be controlled is the way employers choose to deal with their employees.

Coping mechanisms for job insecurity and burnout are major areas of concern for most industries; however, many studies disregard the role of cultural practices in the coping process, assuming that these coping methods are universally applicable. There is also a lack of research on how cultural beliefs impact coping strategies. Cultural differences play a significant role in how individuals handle stress and pressure in the workplace, especially in individualistic and collectivist cultures. Failure to acknowledge this fact could lead to ineffective and insensitive coping mechanisms. Culture plays a crucial role in shaping an individual’s perception of events and decisions, such as starting or ending employment, and influences aspects like job satisfaction, performance, and organisational commitment. Thus, organisations should strive to accommodate employees to prevent burnout, retain top talent, and create a supportive and inclusive work environment.

Managing job burnout is essential for mental well-being in the workplace. Employee well-being encompasses various factors that affect an employee’s daily work environment and ability to fulfil duties and obligations within the company. Factors such as dedication, leadership quality, growth opportunities, and company culture significantly influence performance. A positive work environment that fosters collaboration, recognition, and support can enhance motivation and productivity, leading to higher levels of productivity and quality. Conversely, a negative work environment with poor communication, a lack of development opportunities, or a toxic culture has an inverse effect on better quality and quantity.

Cultural significance refers to the understanding that different cultures may have varying approaches to dealing with job burnout. This recognition allows for the implementation of strategies and support systems that are appropriate to the cultural needs and values of employees. Addressing job burnout in a culturally sensitive manner can contribute to a more inclusive and diverse work environment, fostering greater employee engagement and satisfaction. 

Culture creates a bias that diversifies how people might perceive any event. Hence, it also acts as a significant factor in influencing decisions such as commencing or concluding employment at a certain firm. According to the Harvard Business Review, any discomfort experienced by an employee is largely attributed to management challenges the employee faces. Consequently, burnout faced by employees is best addressed by altering organizational management (Garton, 2017; Prentice & Thaichon, 2019).

The phrase “employee well-being” is broad and encompasses a range of factors that may impact an employee’s daily work environment or their ability to fulfil duties and obligations within the company over the long term. Organizations must understand the connection between cultural values and burnout to improve workers’ well-being in multicultural workplaces. By understanding that a good strategy in one culture may not be in another, businesses can customise their programmes and treatments to appeal to their workforce, fostering a better work atmosphere to reduce the effects of burnout. Recognising that every employee faces unique challenges in different cultures, organisations can establish supportive cultures that address these challenges by demonstrating humaneness and compassion. 

This fosters a sense of community, encourages candid communication, and offers tools that meet the needs of their staff. Promoting cultural sensitivity and awareness can help bridge gaps and create a more inclusive work environment.

Embracing cultural diversity within teams accommodates a diverse workforce that brings diverse perspectives and ideas, leading to more innovative problem-solving techniques and decision-making processes. By embracing cultural diversity, employers can tap into the collective intelligence of their teams, driving creativity and productivity to new heights. This not only benefits individual employees but also contributes to the overall success and competitiveness of the organisation in today’s globalised market.

This article has been co-authored by Aarya Dedhia, Undergraduate Student, FLAME University, Ankita Anand, Undergraduate Student, FLAME University, and Prof. Moitrayee Das, Faculty of Psychology, FLAME University.

(Source:- https://www.sentinelassam.com/editorial/coping-with-burnout-682191 )