“I collapsed from burnout. I hit my head on my desk, broke my cheekbone, and ended up in a pool of blood.”
This bruising account of Arianna Huffington’s experience with burnout may sound extreme. Over the years, she has been incredibly busy as an author, syndicated columnist, occasional actress, and co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post. However, her account is not just about how busy she was; it’s about a problem that persists in workplaces all over the world. In fact, the Society for Human Resource Management recently warned that workplace burnout is reaching “epidemic proportions,” with 95% of HR leaders claiming that this phenomenon is disrupting workforce retention.
During the SAPPHIRE NOW session, “Uncover a New Solution to Strengthen Your Employees and Grow Your Business,” Arianna stressed the importance of stopping this glamorous myth of working long, hard days to the point of exhaustion. “It’s not about not working hard or slowing down. It’s about working smarter,” she explained. “When I’m exhausted, I’m just not that productive. It may take me three times as long to accomplish something. That’s when I make bad decisions.”
For Arianna, her collapse wasn’t just a turning point for herself. It was the inspiration for a new mission: to help all of humanity become more aware of burnout and its consequences, while promoting common-sense approaches to workforce management.
Combining insights, research, and science, her company, Thrive Global, offers sustainable solutions that empower employees to move from surviving to thriving so they can be happier, perform better, and stay for the long term. For example, new role models are being developed to give all employees permission to prioritize self-care by demonstrating how successful executives, such as Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, “put their own oxygen mask on first,” before attending to business matters. The company is also hoping to further its mission by adopting advanced analytics and machine learning to help executives correlate how the state of their employees’ health and well-being impacts the bottom line.
Arianna advises that we need to “disconnect occasionally in order to reconnect with ourselves and be much more effective at everything we are doing.” And much to her joy, companies are finally seeing that the way they’re doing things now is not sustainable.
Is workplace burnout inhibiting the full potential of your business? Watch this replay of the SAPPHIRE NOW session, “Uncover a New Solution to Strengthen Your Employees and Grow Your Business” for sound advice from Arianna Huffington.