Employee well-being

As an employer, you strive for a workforce that performs optimally. You want your employees to be absent as little as possible due to illness, ideally staying completely healthy. You value dedication, flexibility, and reliability: employees who fulfill their obligations and are consistent. Passion for work, attention to detail, and the bigger picture are qualities you appreciate. You emphasize involvement and striving for perfection. You expect employees to work independently and be willing to exert extra efforts when necessary. It is also important that they embody and actively promote the values and goals of the company. And ideally, you want your staff to be resilient to stress. (Although this last part is physiologically impossible).

This might be the ideal scenario for many employers, but…

Psychologically speaking, the above is a sketch of a character structure with an increased likelihood of burnout.
Often, burnout is associated with work-related issues. High work pressure or other work-related circumstances can certainly contribute. However, we often find that the seed for burnout can be traced back to the past.

The pleaser who wasn’t born that way but started pleasing as a compensatory behavior for a deep and painful feeling of rejection and powerlessness from childhood. The joker or the clown who wasn’t born a clown but started compensating for a lack of recognition in their early years. The loyal employee who continuously sacrifices themselves because setting boundaries feels too uncomfortable, loyalty being their survival strategy. The achiever who wasn’t born that way but carries a deep and painful feeling of failure, which is camouflaged and suppressed by striving. The social worker with a full agenda trying to suppress a deep feeling of loneliness within themselves. The career tiger who carries an emotional wound of feeling like a failure and tries to suppress it with prestige. The tough guy or girl who was drilled or whipped in their early years, blocking all contact with emotions. Etc. etc. etc.

Socially, our survival strategies and coping mechanisms are praised, often leading us to not realize that we are hiding and hurting ourselves by constantly being “on” or stuck in survival mode.

Often, we mistake compensatory behaviors, which are survival mechanisms, for our true character or nature. But they actually cover up our true nature! These structures and reaction patterns conceal and suppress old wounds, gifts and talents, unmet needs, dreams, and desires that weren’t allowed due to social or cultural pressure. Suppressing this costs enormous energy and will eventually exhaust you completely. Many physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual issues, including burnout, are lurking here.

This group often has a high baseline tension, so not much is needed for the proverbial last straw. Sometimes as an employer, you are that last straw or suffer because of it. Mental healthcare has significantly increased in recent years. Major life changes, financial stress, physical limitations, traumas, or loss of a loved one can have a huge impact on a person’s life.

Moreover, global events leave no one untouched.

On top of that, living a stressful and busy life seems to be in fashion, and the pace of life keeps increasing. Many don’t even know what relaxation is anymore and mistake the temporary absence of stimuli as relaxation. But it absolutely isn’t! It is very taxing on our nervous system.

The nervous system is our foundation for overall health and resilience but also for a sense of engagement and well-being. (For more information on this, see the article: Autonomic Nervous System as a Basis. www.jelion.nl/inspiration).
Conventional healthcare is under pressure, with long waiting times being more the rule than the exception. Fortunately, more and more employers are taking responsibility for their employees by engaging coaches or therapists in cases of absenteeism, absenteeism prevention, sustainable employability, trust issues, and other complaints, including burnout.

Do you want to know what Jelion can do for your organization? Inquire about the possibilities. When employees operate from their potential, they are much more resilient and creative than when they operate from survival mode.

Literature: From Burnout to Wholeness, Karen Hamaker-Zondag Waking the Tiger, Dr. Peter Levine Books and podcasts by Dr. Gabor Maté and Jan de Bommerez. Literature regarding Dr. Porges’ polyvagal theory.