5 Signs Your Employees are Nearing Burnout

No comments

The divorce rate in America hovers around 50 percent, Midlife Divorce Recovery reports. About 1.5 million people file for bankruptcy every year. And nearly one million miscarriages occur in the U.S. each year.

That’s a lot of personal problems.

Add to that average stress levels from work, and keeping employees motivated to provide consistent results becomes quite the challenge. Fortunately, by fixing processes and hiring more of the right people, you can control at least part of what makes the difference between level-headed employees and overwhelmed, unproductive ones.

Sadly, when projects pile up and stress skyrockets, the last thing on your mind is hiring more people or cleaning up processes. Perhaps, though, that should be the first thing on your mind — actually it definitely should be once the storm passes.

But you can’t increase employee motivation and quality control if you don’t first notice the telltale signs of overworked and inefficient employees. So, here are five.

1. They don’t laugh while at work.

Unhappy employees are less productive than their joyful counterparts. Specifically, one study estimates that happy employees are about 12 percent more productive than unhappy employees. That’s not surprising when you think about it. When people have less internal concerns, they produce a better quality more consistently.

Of course, running a profitable business and keeping everyone happy at the same time isn’t always easy. Still, you shouldn’t ignore the general vibe around the workplace. Do people seem like they’re enjoying their time or dreading it? Are employees so busy that they have no time to shoot the breeze with their coworkers?

Although it might seem like laughing employees kills productivity and profitability, it might actually — as the study above suggests — encourage a higher efficiency and quality when employees do sit down to work.

2. Miscommunications runs rampant.

Forty-four percent of workers said a serious business mistake or shortcoming has been the result of a miscommunication at some point in their professional experience. And 18 percent said that miscommunication lost a sale — a third of those sales valued above $100,000.

For efficiency and profitability’s sake, miscommunication is one thing you don’t want running rampant around the workplace. Sadly, when employees are overworked and overstressed, miscommunications are inevitable — and they’re often a sign that you need to hire more people, clean up processes or redistribute existing projects from certain employees.

3. They’re making rookie mistakes.

The moment your most trusted employees start making rookie mistakes is the same moment you need to examine the way you’re running your business. If you trust these employees and they’ve never let you down before, it’s probably not their fault. It’s probably the fault of unclear processes or fast growth without adequate leadership.

The reality is, most people operate best when running at about 80 percent. Even a great employee might burn out and start making silly mistakes when running at 90 or 100 percent for too long. Slow down and bring back your superstars before they burn out for good.

4. Absenteeism is on the rise.

If people aren’t showing up to work, there’s a problem. Of course, hiring slackers who don’t show up to team meetings on time, take a suspicious amount of sick days or outright miss work is often an unfortunate part of business.

To some degree, that absenteeism is impossible to completely avoid. You take chances on people and some of those people work out. Others don’t. Having said that, if new hires with high spirits and old hires with long commitments try to miss work as often as possible, then there’s a good chance you’re burning out your employees. You should reevaluate your business processes before those workers leave for good.

5. They’ve lost passion for their work.

When you hired your employees, more than likely, part of why you chose them was because they showed passion for their work. If that passion starts to fade, it might be a sign that those same employees don’t have the time or energy to pursue their greatest interests.

And that lack of employee passion is bad for business. In fact, one out of fiveemployees want to leave their job because they simply are no longer passionate about their work. Plus, when employees lack passion for their daily work, quality of that work naturally decreases. So too does their commitment to your business.

Original article:

admin5 Signs Your Employees are Nearing Burnout
read more

Multiplier Events in each partners’ country – Final Newsletter

No comments

All partners organised Multiplier Events in their countries involving people from different institutions, adults and SMEs with the aim to promote the project and provide information on the project, its results, outcomes, e-modules and the results. The dissemination events gave people the opportunity to participate, ask questions and discuss their thoughts and impressions with events’ organisers (the project partners). These events included short workshops on raising resilience and showed the project outputs online. Some partners delivered their dissemination events as open events, to which professionals from the coaching sector, SME owners and managers were all invited. In some countries, the events were closed and were delivered to the employees of one company.

Feedback was collected from participants at the multiplier events, to allow for any required modification for the final product of the project. The events received positive feedback and were a great demonstration of the usefulness of the project and how it will help people to cope with burnout!

We have been very inspired when working together on addressing the issue of burnout, especially when interacting with our local communities during Multiplier Events.
It was very rewarding to receive positive feedback on the tools, which were designed to help others prevent burnout by raising resilience in themselves and others.

We presented methods to help combat burnout. We provided participants with tips and tricks to give them some extra methods they could try out in their daily lives. From the tool kits, participants should be able to find something that works for them. The multiplier events gave us the opportunity to demonstrate how the tools make it possible to communicate needs, feelings, problems, stress and to connect effectively with other people.

We recommend that people put their energy into things that they can change and influence. This will be a productive use of energy and will lead to concrete actions and positivity, which will influence effective and constructive behaviour. Why don’t you discover your own social style? It may help you to deal with stress in a more self-conscious way and help to reduce your stress levels.

Ultimately, changing your mindset, beliefs, attitudes and views is at the heart of changing your behaviour.


In Poland a dissemination event took place on 22nd May 2019 with about 100 participants from a wide range of institutions, SMEs from a wide range of sectors, associations of entrepreneurs, adult educators, coaching and training institutions.  The event started with a presentation of the project, its results,  the e-learning platform and two workshops on the various techniques to increase the resilience and prevent situations of burnout.


In Portugal a wide-scale dissemination event took place on 30th May 2019 with more than 90 participants from a wide range of institutions, including VET providers, entities supporting guidance, employment and personal development organisations, municipalities and other local authorities, community services and SMEs from a wide range of sectors. The event started with a presentation of the project frameworks and its results, an immersion within the e-learning platform and a hands-on workshop on the various techniques to increase the resilience and prevent situations of burnout.
The evaluation of the event from the participants was very encouraging and motivating to continue disseminating and developing these tools.


In the UK, the multiplier event was held on Thursday 9th May 2019. It was held at the Crucible Theatre in Sheffield and attracted a wide range of participants from many different employment sectors, including SME employees and managers, community development organisations, local service organisations (e.g. police) and sole traders.

The event was evaluated very highly and participants thoroughly enjoyed the tools that we presented and many indicated that they would like to use these tools in the future. Many participants also noted that they enjoyed taking the time out to self-reflect and consider the causes and consequences of stress and burnout, something that affects so many of us, but that we rarely dedicate time towards in our busy lives. This was incredible feedback, as it proves that the Burnout project has had a really strong impact on the participants, who will continue to benefit from the online training in the future.


In Italy, the multiplier event was held on the 24thof April 2019. It was held at the Civil Protection of Viggiano, Basilicata and attracted a wide range of participants from many different employment sectors, including SME employees and managers, community development organisations, local service organisations and associations.
The event was evaluated very highly and participants thoroughly enjoyed the tools. They also showed interest in the topic and enjoyed the experience of using the platform. Managers and employee of the civil protection of Viggiano (Basilicata) face everyday problems in their workplace so they found very useful the exercises to manage the stress and they express the interest to use the toolkits in the future.


In Belgium the multiplier event has been organized on the 28thof Junefor the sme’s organization called Multimedi. After a brief introduction of the project, we have presented the Toolkits and ask participants to test the exercises on the platform. The event was very useful for the managers of the company and in the future Obelisk is going to deliver a workshop on the Burnout topic.
The evaluation of the participants demonstrates that the content is very interesting and they express the need to organize more activities related to it.

adminMultiplier Events in each partners’ country – Final Newsletter
read more

10 toolkits with 10 ways to raise resilience – Newsletter 4

No comments

We have developed 10 toolkits with 10 ways to raise resilience. You are invited to experiment with each toolkit and use it as often as you would like.

We have selected different videos from the internet, which are linked to the theme of the toolkits.
Some videos will give a more in depth explanation of the tool, others are examples of the tool in real life. Let this inspire you to look for more videos yourself. If you do not find the video suitable for your own situation, or interesting then skip it and go on to the next one.

Each partner has developed 2 webinars that correspond to one toolkit. The webinars explain the chosen tool, related exercises or tips and tricks.

The tips and tricks are designed to give you some extra activities that you could try implementing in your daily life. You do not need to try all of the toolkits, as some will be more relevant to you than others. Try to see the tips as an experiment, where you will have to experience some trial and error. If one tip does not work for you, try another one until you find the ones that you enjoy most. It is like the saying ‘Good practice makes fine art.’ The more you try out the tips, the easier they will get.

Don’t give up!

The Webinars explain the exercises. The exercises will help to test and challenge you in the tool that we have chosen. They will help you by encouraging you to reflect on your own situation and letting you experiment with different techniques. It is important to realise that this is merely the first step in becoming more resilient.

Sometimes the exercises will not solve all of your problems, but they might be able to shed a different light on your situation, enabling you to recognise both your areas of concern or causes of stress and your successes or energy-giving tasks, which help you to tackle the day. If you find it difficult to do the exercises by yourself, try asking someone you trust to do it with you.

You will see there are different types of exercises

  • DO-exercises
  • REFLECT exercises
  • RECOGNISING exercises
  • CASE STUDY exercises

Try to do the exercises that are most relevant to your situation. Sometimes it is best to spread it out and to not try to do everything at once. Try to get in the rhythm of doing one exercise per day, perhaps. By repeating an exercise, you will be able to really learn how to integrate it in your (work) life.

Good luck!

admin10 toolkits with 10 ways to raise resilience – Newsletter 4
read more

A dissemination event in Poland

No comments

Tools to prevent burnout and improve mental resilience

22 May 2019 Poznań, Młyńska 12 Conference Center,

17.30 – 18.30 Workshop 1 – Curving reality under stress – Are we determined by a personal script or free in the choice?

17.30 – 18.30 Workshop 2 – Involvement according to Transactional Analysis – How to raise internal power to be in a group / relationship?

19.00 – 20.30 Project presentation and lecture on How NASA conquered the cosmos by managing stress.

21.00 Networking

adminA dissemination event in Poland
read more

6 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Make Their Lives Easier and Avoid Burnout

No comments

Entrepreneurial life is exhausting. There isn’t much time to step back and catch your breath. But working around the clock and failing to take care of yourself is not good for your mind or body. In fact, this is exactly how entrepreneurs start to burnout.

Burnout occurs as a result of prolonged stress, and it often causes fatigue, detachment, frustration and feelings of hopelessness. The symptoms often creep up slowly on entrepreneurs, so they may not even realize they are suffering from burnout until it has become more serious and harder to manage. Fortunately, there are steps that entrepreneurs can take to avoid burnout altogether.

1. Pretend you are an employee instead of an entrepreneur.

It’s hard for entrepreneurs to step away from their work, so they end up burning the midnight oil night after night. Snap out of this harmful habit by pretending to be an employee instead of an entrepreneur. Get dressed for work every morning — even if you are working from home — and work the same set hours everyday. This exercise can help entrepreneurs pull themselves away from their work so they can find a work-life balance and avoid burning out.

2. Identify the underlying cause.

Burnout always happens for a reason. Sometimes, it’s simply a result of working long hours. However, entrepreneurs can also start to burn out when they feel like they are losing control over their business. For example, an entrepreneur can experience symptoms of burnout if a new product launch does not go as planned. Burnout can also occur when an entrepreneur is forced to perform repetitive, tedious tasks everyday.

Because there are so many causes, it’s important for entrepreneurs to identify the underlying cause if they start to exhibit symptoms of burnout. Figuring out what is causing the symptoms of burnout can help entrepreneurs make changes to their business or routine in order to avoid completely burning out.

For example, entrepreneurs who are burned out from doing repetitive work should incorporate more challenging tasks into their daily routine. Breaking up the boring tasks with something that is out of their comfort zone can remind them why they love their work. Sometimes, this reminder is enough to avert burnout.

3. Look to other entrepreneurs for support.

Lack of emotional support can accelerate the onset of burnout. Friends and family may not understand exactly what entrepreneurs are going through, which is why it’s best to turn to other entrepreneurs in the community for support. Research networking groups that are designed to bring local entrepreneurs together. Then, open up to these entrepreneurs about challenges or concerns related to your business. No one understands the emotional rollercoaster of starting and growing a business better than other entrepreneurs, so this network can offer the emotional support entrepreneurs need to avoid burnout.

4. Stay away from negative people.

Studies have shown that pessimistic people are more likely to experience burnout because they are never satisfied with their work or performance. For this reason, it is best for entrepreneurs to steer clear of people who are constantly negative. Why? Negativity is often contagious, which means entrepreneurs who spend time around negative people will start to become more negative themselves. Entrepreneurs should surround themselves with positive people so they can reduce their risk of burning out.

5. Pat yourself on the back.

Many entrepreneurs start to burn out because they feel they are not recognized for their hard work. Feeling unappreciated can be disheartening and cause many entrepreneurs to consider throwing in the towel. No entrepreneur should let themselves get to this point. Entrepreneurs should make an effort to pat themselves on the back when they meet their goals. There’s no harm in celebrating your own accomplishments — especially if doing so can prevent burnout.

6. Hire, hire, hire!

One of the most common causes of burnout is taking on more than you can chew or repeatedly piling on repetitive tasks. Hiring an assistant, an extra employee, an accountant or whomever is needed to help offload some tasks will make an immense difference in stopping burnout in its tracks.

Burning out should not be a part of the entrepreneurial life. By following these tips, entrepreneurs can protect their minds and bodies from the harmful effects of burnout.

If you’ve already started to experience intense burnout symptoms, it’s not too late to take action. No matter what is on your schedule, it’s important to take time off and give your body plenty of time to overcome burnout. Remember, continuing to push through the physical and mental discomfort will only make it worse.

Original article:

admin6 Ways Entrepreneurs Can Make Their Lives Easier and Avoid Burnout
read more

Burnout and post-traumatic stress disorder: Dr. Geri Puleo at TEDxSetonHillUniversity

No comments

Dr. Geri Puleo, SPHR, is the President/CEO of Change Management Solutions, Inc., a boutique B2B consulting firm helping clients who are planning, implementing, or struggling with change. The creator of the Burnout During Organizational Change (B-DOC) Model, she has over 25 years of entrepreneurial experience in the B2B and B2C markets. The founding president of Tri-State Society of Human Resource Management (a Superior Merit winner), she is currently launching a new SHRM chapter in the Airport area. The former author of 2 columns for E-Magnify and The Employment Paper (a subsidiary of The Pittsburgh Business Times), her blog, http://a-new-way-, focuses on achieving professional success by reducing burnout and maintaining work-life balance during organizational change. A frequent and popular keynote speaker and trainer at national, regional and local conferences, Dr. Puleo has also taught undergraduate and graduate courses in business, human resources, organizational development, leadership/ management, and strategy at Penn State University, Seton Hill University, Robert Morris University, Strayer University and CCAC.

adminBurnout and post-traumatic stress disorder: Dr. Geri Puleo at TEDxSetonHillUniversity
read more

Toolkit for Managers – Newsletter 3

No comments

We would like to introduce our tool developed within project SMEs tool to prevent Burnout.

The aim of the project is to prevent burnout at work and raise resilience, to help SMEs staff and managers to forecast burnout, to recognize the warning signs, to take steps to regain balance and to change peoples’ approach to a balanced life, to improve working conditions, and to reduce the cost of burnout, and stress.

The tools contains five topics:

  • Social Styles
  • Feedforward performance tool
  • GROW model
  • Ofman’S Core Quadrants
  • Circle of Influence


Now, what is ‘feedforward?’ and why is it a better method than ‘classic feedback’ to raise resilience in teams and individuals?When you give feedback, you focus on the past, on what has already happened and what can’t be changed.

Moreover, when you receive feedback, you often feel personally attacked, which makes you defensive.
Why so? Because feedback is accusatory: we want to prove that someone is at fault and we focus on negative behaviour.That approach demotivates people and it reduces positive energy and engagement, with stress or frustrations as a result.

Even if you would start off your feedback with something positive, the chances are that the person that receives the feedback thinks: “Ah, I already know what is happening here.
First, I’ll get a positive message.

Next, I’ll hear what I’m actually here for’. When you give feedforward, you focus on the future, on what you can create and still have an impact on. When you receive feedforward, you do not feel attacked because feedforward aims at offering help, highlighting positive behaviour and stimulating creativity. That approach is inspirational, it gives hope and new energy so that involvement increases. Teaching people what is right instead of proving them what they are doing wrong, has a more productive and energising effect. Raised resilience is the result.

adminToolkit for Managers – Newsletter 3
read more

5 ways to raise you resilience – Newsletter 2

No comments

We would like to introduce our tool developed within project SMEs tool to prevent Burnout. The aim of the project is to prevent burnout at work and raise resilience, to help SMEs staff and managers to forecast burnout, to recognize the warning signs, to take steps to regain balance and to change peoples’ approach to a balanced life, to improve working conditions, and to reduce the cost of burnout, and stress.


Personal coping
One of the tools is “the social styles” tool. It is the tool that we provide to strengthen your resilience with respect to personal coping.

Experience at work
When you’re experiencing prolonged periods of stress, it is important to recognize the areas where you do have control, so that you can keep your stress levels within reason. Maintaining this focus is not always easy, which is why the American psychologist Stephen Covey developed a model that he called “the Circles of focus”.

Think yourself strong
The idea that stress cannot be avoided is wrong, nothing could be further from the truth. It is not the event itself that determines our behaviour and emotions; it’s the way we handle it and look at the event from the perspective of our own (irrational) thoughts….

Create resilience in your environment
In this toolkit, we want to work on your resilience and that of others by focusing on a ‘connecting way’ of communication by Marshall Rosenberg.
Creating resilience in your environment starts with connecting to your environment. How you communicate about your needs, feelings, problems and stress, has a great impact on how your environment and people will develop a connection with you.

Health and well-being
Stress can be seen as a type of load that you carry. Whether this load is experienced as positive or negative depends on the balance between capacity and load. You will experience negative stress when your load exceeds your carrying capacity. The carrying capacity and load capacity is different for each individual. So, the intent is to reduce your load and to make your carrying capacity as high as possible. You can do this by looking to the things that give you energy and the thing that eat at your energy.

admin5 ways to raise you resilience – Newsletter 2
read more

How to Prevent Burnout and Create Space for What Matters Most

No comments

Original source: 

“We humans need connection: to self, others, to our creativity. Playfulness creates opportunities to connect. Connection reduces stress and makes us healthier. “ Lanie Smith, a registered Art Therapist, gave us in this article 5 tips on how she found the balance in her life.

When I was in college, I discovered art to be a valuable coping skill that helped me balance the stress of family dynamics, multiple jobs, and full time school. Often, I’d find myself rolling into work as a makeup artist or into the restaurants where I’d waitress and bartend using the spit technique to wipe off paint smudges from my elbow or forehead. Sometimes, I’d find my hair matted together where paint had dried the strands together like rubber cement. I would laugh it off and chalk it up to being artsy.

Fast forward to grad school: I might catch myself in a similar situation, but it became more important to look ‘professional’ and adhere to the dress code as I entered internships and practicums. I took my role as a therapist seriously and over time lost sight of some important wisdom I’d read just before I decided to leave the South for New York City:

Serious art(work) is born of serious play. -julia cameron

I was dedicated to my own art and I was passionate about bringing clients “real” art experiences rather than the recreational crafts that were often passed off as Art Therapy. This eventually led to packing a portable studio while traveling up to 200 miles a day between homes and schools and different programs in 100+ degree weather that baked clay and melted pastels.   I could be rather stubborn, but I soon learned to accept the limitations of being an Art Therapist in the Arizona desert. I also recognized its many gifts. Previous work in sterile hospital settings, a third world country, and an inner-city high school had reinforced my own ingenuity and shown me how to use just about any environment as a source of inspiration.

As the demands and realities of my career set in, I slowly found myself less and less able to keep up with my own creative endeavors. The long sessions of intuitive painting I loved were given up in favor of intakes, assessments, caseloads, documentation, and CPS reports. Occasional weekends were devoted to artmaking, but I began to lose my identity as artist while adopting the role of Art Therapist.   I soon felt more and more disconnected from my creativity and began to lose motivation, energy, and health as I lost myself in the service of others.

Let the Clinification Syndrome begin.

There’s actually a syndrome specific to Art Therapists that emerges when we feel like we don’t completely fit into either the art world or the traditional therapy world. Occasional workshops and the creative activities with my clients weren’t enough to feed my artist identity and keep me in touch with the raw pleasure of tactile, sensory experimentation that I associated with being a painter.

As the great John Belushi once said, “I’m a fucking artist. I’m sensitive as shit…I wish I could be a plumber but I can’t because I’m a fucking artist!”

Art Therapists are artists trained to use their gifts and interests in art to support others in a clinical setting. A desire for security can lead us to take positions that often do not consider the needs of an artist: the time, space, and materials to actually do the work that sets us apart from other behavioral health professionals. Artists need white space. I’d argue we all do.

Just like a work of art, the unmarked area or blank canvas is what allows the image to form.   This open space is just as important to a composition as the actual objects, lines, or shapes. Such breathing room is equally important in life as it is art…for artists and non-artists alike. It gives us room for spontaneity, curiosity, and exploration. These are the ingredients of play.

Play leads to joy which allows for growth and healing.

Sadly, we lose our ability to play, when we don’t feel safe. Many adults sacrifice play in the pursuit of security. Curious exploration is deemed unproductive. Lack of trust in the creative process fuels habitual obsession with getting results and controlling outcomes. When we’re in this mode, each day can become an exhausting chase rather than a practice of faithfully allowing creative energy to flow and life to unfold.

The value of adult play is greatly underestimated in our industrialized culture that values mass production, systemized processes, and machine-like output, but, ultimately, we are humans. We humans need connection: to self, others, to our creativity. Playfulness creates opportunities to connect. Connection reduces stress and makes us healthier. In turn, healthy humans produce higher quality work marked by creative solutions that only appeared in that playful white space.

I knew all this. I knew the value of play and how it’s often jeopardized when we put security above all else, but still… I spent several years sacrificing my creativity and playfulness in favor of professional goals and a steady paycheck. These days, I gratefully find myself in a more balanced place where I can prioritize white space and have learned to enjoy the process rather than obsess over outcome.

So how did I find my way back to balance and back to play? How can you find your own way there? These steps helped me to restore my own relationship with my creative self. I believe they can help you too. 

  1. Establish “white space” in your heart, work, and calendar. Let go of some obligatory tasks that no longer feel good. To do this, you can make a list to identify what you think you “have” to do and what you want to do. Even if this only opens up an hour a week, start there and use this hour to explore what would feel good.
  2. Of the things you believe you “have” to do…write down why you think you “must”. Words like must, need, ought, should, and have to insinuate life or death consequences. What will happen if you stopped? Establish intentionality by identifying why you choose to do these things rather than suffer the consequences of not doing them. For example, I choose to pay my taxes because I am grateful for the freedom to live and sleep in my own home rather than share a jail cell at the AZ State Prison!   This alone can shift obligations into choices. Spend as much or as little on this step as you feel called to and then go enjoy something that feels more exploratory and playful.
  3. If you feel afraid or guilty about taking a break and creating white space in your life, consciously ground yourself in a sense of safety and trust. Remember a time when you feared things would not turn out well but they actually did. Close your eyes and visualize this scenario while noticing how you feel in your body. Stay with this sensation for as long as you like.
  4. Now…time to play! Use the energy of this feeling and pleasant memory to do something you’d enjoy most. This could be anything…rollerskating, writing, painting, a nature walk or hike, biking, birdwatching, etc. I mention a lot of outdoor activities because that’s what I love, but this is your playtime so choose what you would enjoy. There was a time when my energy was low and restful activities like movies and books were most enjoyable. Follow what your heart is craving.
adminHow to Prevent Burnout and Create Space for What Matters Most
read more