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Helping Each Other and Our Teams During Times of Change Brandon Sullivan, Ph.D. OHR Employee Engagement Manager March, 2013. Agenda. Stressors in today’s workplace How the workplace is changing Burnout Engagement What you can do to increase engagement. Top Workplace Stressors.

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Helping Each Other and Our Teams During Times of ChangeBrandon Sullivan, Ph.D. OHR Employee Engagement ManagerMarch, 2013


  • Stressors in today’s workplace

  • How the workplace is changing

  • Burnout

  • Engagement

  • What you can do to increase engagement

Top workplace stressors
Top Workplace Stressors

So what
So What?

  • Weaker identification with the organization as a whole

  • Stronger identification with occupation, discipline, personal network

  • Employee responsible for own career (and more empowered)

  • More focus on what you, your immediate team, and your network can do


Discuss with a partner 1-2 ways your current work and workplace are changing

How are these changes affecting your stress level?

How do individuals react
How Do Individuals React?

When work demands consistently exceed the available coping resources, a process called burnout begins…

It starts with exhaustion
It Starts with Exhaustion

Feelings of being over-extended, depleted of emotional and physical resources, feeling “drained”

Next depersonalization cynicism detachment
Next: Depersonalization, Cynicism & Detachment

  • Human services occupations: depersonalization – ceasing to see one’s students, clients, patients, or customers as individual human beings

  • Non human-services occupations: cynicism and detachment

  • Under the circumstances, this can be adaptive

Finally reduced efficacy
Finally: Reduced Efficacy

  • Reduced feelings of effectiveness and personal accomplishment

  • Can result in less effort and poorer performance


… if not addressed, burnout can lead to increased turnover and absenteeism, greater risk for physical and psychological illness, spillover of stress to personal relationships

The way forward
The Way Forward

Create the opposite of burnout

Employee engagement
Employee Engagement!

time, energy, enthusiasm

Has to be a two-way street:

Taking ownership
Taking Ownership

What can we do?

  • Build and communicate a shared vision

  • Set challenging goals that contribute to the vision

  • Provide clear roles and expectations

  • Ensure the free flow of timely, high-quality information

  • Remove barriers to success with a sense of urgency

  • Take every opportunity to recognize and reward good work

  • Listen actively and seek to understand others’ viewpoints

  • Demonstrate concern and support for others’ wellbeing

  • Actively help others make progress toward career goals

Decades of research show these factors to be foundational for building highly engaged, high performance teams


With a partner, discuss which drivers of engagement are current pain points for your team or unit

Brainstorm some practical ideas your partner might try to address these pain points