Bad software leads to employee burnout

Leadership on the verge of burnout?

Executives whose wellbeing is impaired are more likely to have a negative leadership style, according to a study. Not every company needs a feel-good manager, but active health management is a must.


Mindfulness, work-life balance, healthy nutrition - many people attach great importance to their own well-being today. However, it is doubtful that they are all active for their own physical and mental health. In view of the increasingly stressful everyday working life, the need for compensation is great in any case, and companies also have a responsibility to provide relief.

Increasing deadline and performance pressure

Because digitization leads to a constant acceleration of production, service and communication processes. At the same time, the complexity of the tasks increases and the work intensity increases. Above all, the increased pressure to meet deadlines and to perform has a negative impact. According to the study "Company Health Management 2018", for which the Pronova BKK health insurance company surveyed 1,650 employees nationwide, nine out of ten Germans feel stressed from their work. For many respondents, this is sometimes associated with back pain or exhaustion (61 percent). 59 percent are sometimes tense inside, 54 percent brood about their work and 53 percent sleep poorly.

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Mindfulness in the world of work

For a culture of awareness in companies and organizations

"Mindfulness" is an increasingly recognized topic in the health sector. A number of companies hold mindfulness seminars for their employees with the aim of improving the health and satisfaction of the workforce.

Hardly any time for private activities

The Pronova study does not differentiate between superiors and "simple" employees, but it is clear that top managers, board members and company bosses are also familiar with such symptoms. Not least because the vast majority of them work more than eight hours a day and have little time for private activities. According to a survey by the Baumann management consultancy in 2015, almost every fifth manager has suffered from burnout at some point.

Ailing bosses lead worse

Usually long before burnout is attested and leads to sick leave, those affected and often their subordinates drag themselves through difficult times. A team of researchers from the Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel, the Goethe-Universität Frankfurt / Main and the Universität Koblenz-Landau confirmed in a meta-study the assumption that there is a connection between the well-being of executives and their leadership behavior. For this purpose, the scientists evaluated 88 research papers with over 12,000 respondents.

"We were able to determine that all three constructive leadership styles have a positive connection with the well-being of executives," says the co-author of the study, Professor Claudia Buengeler from the Kiel Institute for Business Administration. In addition, negative leadership is related to lower well-being or vice versa Said: Stressed, emotionally exhausted and threatened by burnout superiors tend to have a rather negative management style.

Actively practice health management

Since managerial behavior in turn influences the well-being of subordinates, companies should pursue sustainable health management, for example by strengthening the well-being of their managers and preventing destructive leadership behavior. "In order to create structural measures that help managers to perform their role effectively, it must first be clear what can actually help with poor well-being," explains Buengeler can play their role in a more reflective and active manner.

Petra Bernatzeder also blows in the same horn. In the book chapter "The Pillar of Leadership and Cooperation", she emphasizes the task of "leading yourself healthily" as essential for healthy leadership and explains:

"Only those who can lead themselves can lead others ”. This well-known principle also applies here. It is important to maintain your own physical and mental stability, to take care of your personal well-being and to restore your own balance if it is in trouble. Clarity regarding one's own role and knowledge of the possibilities of influencing as a role model are part of this. " Petra Bernatzeder, page 68

Offer a wide range of measures

With a responsible health management, companies can support their top management significantly. On the one hand, according to the Springer author, there is still a need for education about the connections between stress, mental overload and illnesses. On the other hand, it is important to offer a wide range of health measures for people with very different personality traits and preferences. After all, women joggers, for example, often think differently from members of fitness clubs or people who deal with yoga and meditation. In addition, sustainable health promotion can only succeed if relaxation and exercise units are integrated into everyday life. (Page 70)