This episode of THE Amicable Divorce Expert podcast is about workplace burnout for women and men who are also going through divorce.
First, the bad news. There is a crisis in corporate America called Presenteeism. It means that people show up for work, they are present, but mentally checked out due to emotional pain. When mentally checked out, they are unproductive to the tune of over $300 billion dollars per year. (Center for Disease Control) This is a public health crisis.
Now the good news; it’s solvable.
And it starts with the leadership in corporate America becoming more empathetic, having emotional intelligence, and having the social skills to know how to connect with their employees, the team, to humanize the health and welfare of their workers.
This herculean effort can be accomplished through self-awareness first. Self-awareness to know that they need help and guidance to provide a safe environment in which the employees can share their personal experiences, without bias going forward, and to develop the trust necessary for their employees to vocalize the personal challenges they’re dealing with if experiencing something like divorce.
Second step is coaching, to give business leaders the skill set to be able to open the lines of communication between themselves, management, and workers. Without coaching and training self-awareness has nowhere to go, and workplace burnout can still permeate the environment.
Coaching and training in the soft skills of empathy, emotional intelligence, and social skills can also uncover biases that may be just under the surface of management’s approach to employee productivity. Once biases are uncovered, the real work can begin to humanize the workplace so that everyone connected with a company can start to grow holistically with the care and attention that all companies want to think they have, and promote to the public, their shareholders and their customers.
Self-care is a concept that’s been around for a while, and now has advanced to including professionals who can take aspects of what a person needs for self-care and help them develop it specific to their needs.
Divorce is the #2 stressor in a person’s life next to death. The difference is that in death people mourn the loss of a person, while in divorce people mourn the loss of a relationship that doesn’t really go away, it just changes. If there are minor children of a divorce, people have to co-parent, which means they have to form a different relationship with each other and their children. Put divorce into a job where the work environment is stressful, inhuman, lacking support of empathy, and you’ve got employee burnout and even another workplace phenomenon, suicide. Divorce can easily make people feel like a failure, which leads to a lack of self-worth, and can eventually lead to self-harming.
I have created a coaching plan that I’m rolling out for Human Resources professionals that uses a 4-step program to address the most important parts of approaching divorce by individuals and corporate leaders. Watch for this in January.
Until then, do your best to leave divorce work out of the workplace and compartmentalize it in off-work hours. I’m also giving a mini-version of the workshop on December 3rd through Meetup Los Angeles and Meetup Liguna Niguel. It’s free. If you would like to attend please email me at Judith@TheAmicableDivorceExpert.com.
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Biographies of Dr. Jacqueline Kerr and Kristi Rible
Dr Jacqueline Kerr is a mom, behavior change scientist and burnout survivor. She hosts the podcast Overcoming working mom burnout. Her TEDx talk is How to stop burnout before it starts. She is the Head of Behavior Science at The Huuman Group and provides support to companies on having impact through evidence-based behavior change, understanding and solving multi-level public health problems such as burnout, and using implementation science to improve program effectiveness.
Dr Kerr is in the top 1% of most cited scientists worldwide. She was a public health professor until 2018 when she burned out. Dr Kerr’s work is included in the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s Community Health Guide and she has received over $56 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association working on interventions in community settings such as neighborhoods, schools, workplaces, and retirement communities. She also received over $10 million in funding focusing on women’s health. She has been passionate about age friendly cities and was a consultant to both the AARP and SANDAG.
Podcast: Overcoming working mom burnout
TEDx talk: https://youtu.be/9YY0gVnVPoQ
Stand up comedy: https://youtu.be/Ulx5VNK4E08
As founder and CEO of The Huuman Group™ (a leadership, coaching, and culture consultancy), Kristi is dedicated to humanizing the workplace by building caring leaders for thriving cultures. Caring leaders understand that the future of work demands flexibility for successful work+life integration, psychological safety, and full a representation of our collective humanity: diverse, equitable, and inclusive.
Her international leadership experience spans more than twenty years of working across technology and consumer products for both public and startup ventures throughout the US, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and Africa. To every consulting, teaching, or coaching engagement, she brings an intercultural and multidisciplinary perspective.
Instagram: @kristirible and @thehuumangroup