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  • Writer's pictureCait Donovan

#straightfromcait: How Companies Can Use Burnout to Heal Culture Issues

Updated: Feb 21, 2023

It might seem odd to even consider seeing burnout as something that could potentially benefit a company. However, when burnout occurs frequently enough in the same workplace it can serve as a handy red flag. If you keep quiet while experiencing burnout, it will be more difficult for your employer to recognize and address a potential systemic issue. When multiple employees experience burnout it may be an indicator of a larger issue at play such as a problem with the system or workplace culture that needs to change. In today’s #straightfromcait episode, Cait, host and burnout speaker, explains why companies should pay attention to burnout and how burnout data can help companies to heal culture issues in the workplace.

Your burnout may be a symptom of a larger systemic issue, and companies should pay closer attention when they have burnt out employees. Sometimes burnout is an individual experience, but there is also organizational burnout that impacts multiple employees at once. By being up front with your employer about your burnout, they can use that information to discern whether widespread organizational change needs to be made. Research shows that burnout and “quiet quitting” are costing U.S. companies trillions of dollars. Employees with burnout are more likely to visit the emergency room and have higher medical costs overall. Companies can save major money by working toward burnout proofing cultures.

Burnout is often experienced silently which causes leaders to be blissfully unaware of any larger systemic issues that may be at play. Speaking up about your burnout experience can lead to others being more willing to also speak up. The more employees that are impacted, the more likely it is that a company will make dramatic organizational changes which can lead to a healthier workplace for all.


If burnout is a symptom of a larger system malfunction, and in this case, the system is society at large as the macrocosm and the microcosm is being community, company, neighborhood, family and finally self, then shouldn't companies be paying closer attention to it so that they can find out where the system is causing more wear and tear than necessary?” (2:29-2:53 | Cait)

When a system is adding to the burnout of multiple people within short timeframes, something is wrong. It's really normal to have one person burnout in a company that seems to work for everyone else. So maybe this company is doing everything it can and is really supportive and is really okay with making as much change as possible to support people. But there is something about it, about the system, about the culture, about the work that doesn't agree with a particular person. That doesn't necessarily mean that the system has to continue to change. That means that this is not the right relationship.” (4:07-4:48 | Cait)

In order for burnout to be a useful red flag for companies, people who are burning out or who are already burnt, fried crispy, need to be able to tell someone what's going on. It is not possible to use a symptom to diagnose a problem if the symptom doesn't make itself known or the symptom is ignored.” (5:37-5:55 | Cait)

I just want you to consider the fact that by letting your company know that you're burnt out, by telling your story, by talking to other people within your company that you're experiencing burnout, you might be a trigger that helps more people to speak up, that would help your company to work through something and make a change further down the road.” (10:04-10:28 | Cait)

The cost of providing support for burnt out employees and teams is far outweighed by the costs of not addressing burnout in your companies.” (12:32-12:41 | Cait)




Need a speaker for your event? If you would love to book Cait for your event, connect with her here:

If you know that it’s time to actually DO something about the burnout cycle you’ve been in for too long - book your free consult today:


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