March 24, 2023

Convenient Misremembering

Merriam-Webster defines selective memory as "an ability to remember some facts while apparently forgetting others; especially when they are inconvenient." It goes on to say; "the ability to retrieve certain facts and events but not others." 

You and I may have been at that same dinner when Bob spilled his wine on Sarah's dress and recount it with a different point of view. I thought Sarah was taunting Bob while you saw Bob as unprovoked and inebriated. It might have simply been an accident with no malice by either.

Details and distractions 

Think about a time when you lost most if not all memory of a situation. I've been on the earth long enough that there are gaps of my history I don't remember. That doesn't mean I have deficiencies or those events didn't happen, but rather I've filed them in some badly labeled box in the basement of my brain. Often with a few added details, I can recount them. I'm sure you've experienced the same. 

It's not that we don't remember or we are being selective, but rather the experiences are packed away because they're not important at the moment. Sometimes events that happened twenty years ago feel as clear as if they had happened this morning while there are days I don't remember what I had for breakfast the day before. 

Sometimes it's inconvenient; sometimes it's unimportant.  

March 4, 2023

Burnout or Quietly Quit?

The global consulting firm Deloitte recently published a study on burnout. It's a sobering reminder of the challenges that many of us are facing in today's fast-paced and demanding work environment. The pandemic completely changed entire industries. Many are back in the office full-time; some are doing a hybrid schedule; and others may never go back to the cubicle. This adds complexity to workplace culture and how leaders lead their teams.

The survey found 77% of full-time US employees have experienced burnout at their current job, and over half have faced it multiple times. While companies may be offering well-being programs to address stress in the workplace. 70% of professionals feel their employers are not doing enough to prevent or alleviate burnout. I live in Canada and I'll bet the numbers are similar here. 

Workplace Culture

But it's not just about the programs. The survey also found workplace culture plays a big role in preventing burnout. The top driver of burnout cited was lack of support or recognition from leadership, and a quarter of respondents said they never or rarely take all their vacation days. I can relate! 

The survey also found 84% of millennials have experienced burnout at their current job, with nearly half saying they've left a job because they felt burned out. It's a concerning trend, and it highlights the importance of addressing burnout in the workplace. Quiet quitting has crept into our vernacular since the beginning of the pandemic. 

Preventing Burnout

It's not just about offering well-being programs or a supportive workplace culture. It's about creating a holistic approach that recognizes and values the well-being of employees. Here's a thought; if you're a leader, ask them how they are doing rather than always focusing conversations on output and results of their work.

It's a critical issue, and it's time for companies to step up and create a work environment that promotes well-being and prevents burnout. The workday is no longer punching in at 8:30am, taking the standard one-hour lunch break, and punching out at 5pm. We aren't robots; we are humans, and there's a lot going on that may not be related to our work but certainly affects it. AI may be dominating the zeitgeist but it’s my hope we don’t forget the human connection. 

A good place to start is with an honest conversation.


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