We’ve all been there – we love our jobs, but sometimes the pressure of managing our position (particularly when events such as a pandemic hit us) and getting everything done in our allocated daily time slot can seem like an impossible task. This can lead to exhaustion, stress, feeling disengaged and unmotivated… and it can be a one-way ticket to a burnout.
What is burnout?
Burnout is largely defined by the following:
- “A state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by long-term involvement in emotionally demanding situations.” – Ayala Pines and Elliot Aronson.
- “A state of fatigue or frustration brought about by devotion to a cause, way of life, or relationship that failed to produce the expected reward.” – Herbert J. Freudenberger.
There are many symptoms of an impending burnout, which include:
- Having a negative and critical attitude at work.
- Dreading going into work and wanting to leave upon arriving.
- Having low energy, and little interest at work.
- Frequent absences from work.
Burnouts are serious and will eventually have ramifications on your physical health, your mental health, and your career. For frontline workers including dental practices that kept their doors open throughout the three UK lockdowns and had to adapt to the strict shielding, sanitising and PPE regulations, this was considerably more pressure, and inevitably increased the number of burnouts in the workplace.
How to avoid burnout at your practice
Take control of your time
You can avoid (or overcome) burnout by finding ways to create more autonomy in your role or the roles of your staff. Exercising flexibility over tasks, projects, or deadlines (if possible) will make the days more manageable during busy or trying times. Understand that we’re all human and the limiting twenty-four hours in a day only allows for so much productivity.
Manage time effectively by learning/enforcing prioritisation techniques and make use of To-Do lists or Action Programs to take control of the day, then tie these in with daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly personal goals.
Improve practice efficiency – how can DenGro help?
Maximise productivity (and revenue) by implementing specially tailored software designed to make your practice more efficient. DenGro provides software that puts prospective and existing patients first – yet it also supports and guides practice teams in the effective handling of enquiries about treatments, reducing the time involved and taking the stress out of this important day-to-day activity.
With one central, online repository for the practice’s leads, automated communications designed to nurture and convert, automated transactional messaging, a daily dashboard of tasks to complete so that leads don’t get lost (and much more), DenGro’s software enables your team to convert more leads into patients whilst effortlessly providing a first-class new patient experience, thus freeing up much more of their valuable time.
Having the tools at hand to view, manage, measure, and influence success means you’ll be able to continue improving your practice’s performance, as well as keeping yourself and your team happy, healthy, and pumping out the numbers (and with not a burnout in sight!)
Performing a job analysis with your team will help clarify what is expected of your team (or yourself) and what isn’t. Experiencing work overload day in and day out can start to feel as if you’re/they’re on a treadmill and that it’s impossible to stay afloat and keep up with tasks – which can eventually lead to a burnout.
Annual or bi-annual role analysis meetings will help identify what’s important in your/their role so that you can cut out or delegate tasks that aren’t as essential.
We know the last thing anyone wants to do when they’re overworked, stressed, and exhausted is head to the gym or out for a 5K, but exercise is a key component in mental health management – even if it’s just a ten-minute brisk walk during the lunch break.
Regular exercise has numerous benefits, but if nothing else it will aid in sleep management and help achieve a healthy sleep routine, which is pivotal in warding off a potential burnout.
Encourage stress management
Stress – particularly work-related stress – affects every single one of us at some point or another, so encouraging regular stress management routines can both prevent potential stress-induced health problems and will help the team feel united.
Encouraging meditation and relaxation methods on a daily/weekly basis will have multiple benefits to you and your team’s wellbeing.
*Stress can cause severe health problems, and in extreme cases, death. While the above health advice has been shown to have a positive effect on reducing stress, it is guidance only. A GP should be consulted if these issues persist*.