Joy Journal

Every Friday, you can receive the Joy Journal, which will give you information, inspiration and tips that you can use in your pursuit for joy.


Burnout Bias

The stigma has an impact


Quote: A stigma is a barrier rooted in prejudice, avoidance, rejection, and discrimination due to a lack of understanding. For burnout, the stigma translates to being considered as inferior, fallible and weak.

This week, SHRM released the results of a study from Ghent University in Belgium. The study asked 405 managers in the U.S. and U.K. if they would promote a 1,620 fictional employees. These employees had gaps in their work history attributed to burnout, parental leave and sick leave. The results are surprising.

The research showed that those who missed work to recover from burnout had the WORST chance of being promoted, even though they had restored their health and had positive performance reviews since returning to work.

It appears that demonstrating the courage to speak up and take care of yourself can have negative ramifications on your career. Is the manager trying to demonstrate care by not wanting to further stress the employee with a promotion? Does the manager think the person is weak and not up for the challenge? The study doesn’t provide the answer, but what is clear is that there can be a negative bias.

As a leader in your organization, what should you do with this information?

  • Point out the potential bias to leaders in your firm. Make them aware of this type of thinking.
  • Prevent burnout from happening in the first place. The firm needs to work even harder to train managers and individuals how to stop the burn from happening before it’s too late.

2023 is going to be challenging. Don’t let business worries and budget constraints curtail your efforts to keep burnout in check.

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