Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Staff Burnout - Healing Our Sector's Secret Sickness
By Kedren Crosby, Principal, Crosby Consulting
In the nonprofit sector, we're encouraged to punch the time clock with our hearts. Of course, there is rarely a time clock, so often our hearts work around the clock in frenzied pursuit of our agency mission. We love our work but can become consumed by its bottomlessness. Perspective begins to wane, personal lives suffer, balance is lost and so goes the denouement from zealot to burnout.
IMBALANCE IS INTRINSIC IN OUR SECTOR'S DNA.
The nonprofit movement in America was birthed out of the same religious fervor which esteems martyrs and saints. In the 1800s, Tocqueville internationally esteemed our uniquely American ability to self-sacrifice and organize to create a more civil society. Our roots are steeped in self-denial for the good of the cause. We often throw our personal lives 'under the bus' for the betterment of the organization. Honestly, is it any wonder people burn out?
IMBALANCE AS A SIGN OF THE TIMES.
Technology has inextricably enmeshed our work and personal lives. We find it difficult to compartmentalize when one piece of our world goes awry. Operating in this fiscally austere economy is also extraordinarily discouraging with the reality of budget cuts, program eliminations and lay-offs. If the wrong stars are aligned for long enough, one begins to relate to Sisyphus, the character in Greek mythology who was destined to push a massive boulder up a hill only for it to roll back down again and again - for all eternity. Ugh!
So.. what do you do about it? Read on....