You may be familiar with "The Great Resignation." It’s a term coined by Anthony Klotz at Texas A&M and refers to a mass exodus of US workers leaving their jobs as we emerge from COVID. In April alone, about four million people clocked out for good, and it’s got a lot of people wondering what the heck is going on. Part of that has to do with our redefinition of success post-pandemic.
But another piece to this Great Resignation puzzle, however, predates the pandemic: burnout, a prolonged psychological response to chronic work-related stress. In layperson’s terms: you’ve got too much to do, you’re not feeling rewarded, and you’re exhausted because of all of it. But, of course, it’s a little more complicated than that.
So for this week’s episode of Footnotes, we wanted to chat with Regan Gurung. He’s a social psychologist and professor at Oregon State University, and we wanted to pick his brain a little bit to help us break down what exactly burnout is, how to recognize it, and how we—as employees and employers—can prevent it and recover from it.