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**Press Release** ‘Corporate burnout’ in middle & senior leaders approaching crisis point

Jul 08, 2015

Howard Awbery Photo.jpeg.jpg

Twenty percent of middle and senior leaders in organisations large and small are affected by ‘corporate burnout’ and cultural changes within businesses must be made if ‘crisis point’ is to be avoided.

This escalating problem of corporate burnout and the issues facing all levels of leadership in organisations is tackled in a new book by Dr Howard G Awbery.

In his book, Howard - the founder and managing director of leadership and management development company Awbery - explains the physiological changes that employers and individuals must look out for, and provides a number of tried and tested recovery strategies for coping with burnout.

It is the fifth and final instalment in Howard’s series of Pixie Dust management books.

The book ‘Combatting Corporate Burnout’ - which has been nominated for the CMI (Chartered Management Institute) Best New Management Book of the Year Competition - follows two years of extensive research into the growing issue of corporate burnout, which Howard undertook alongside Professor Max Blythe, and involved interviews with forty leaders from all areas of the corporate sphere to discover how corporate burnout manifests itself in the real world.

“The more I research corporate burnout in organisations, the more amazed I am at our headlong race to deplete the rapidly diminishing talent pool,” said Howard.

“A significant number of high flyers burn out during the first ten years of their career, and I believe organisations need to take hold of this wasteful situation by analysing corporate cultures, better understanding the importance of employee health and wellbeing, eradicating the catalysts that create burnout, and supporting those unable to help themselves.”

Corporate burnout is a unique condition and mustn’t be confused with workplace stress, as Howard explains: “We need to stop describing everyday stress as burnout. Burnout is a complete inability to function, to get out of bed, or undertake work in any capacity. It involves an addictive overwhelming exhaustion, resulting in disillusionment and a dysfunctional attitude towards work, colleagues and family. Describing everyday stress as burnout denigrates the seriousness of the condition and mitigates the culpability of the organisations who have stood by and watched it happen.”

According to Howard’s research:

  • Burnout predominantly happens to high performers and is sometimes described as ‘overachiever syndrome’;
  • The conditions for burnout are created by organisations or circumstances;
  • Burnout predominantly happens among 20 to 30 year olds and occurs during the first ten years of a career, following a subtle downward spiral;
  • Immune systems slowly shut down resulting in repeated illness when leaders are burning out;
  • Lower back or neck pains, increased use of painkillers and caffeine, and disrupted sleep patterns are all early signs of burnout;
  • Changes in eating habits and increased alcohol consumption are common;
  • Often the only person who doesn’t recognise the downward spiral in performance is the leader themselves.

The advice for orgnaisations is to take a step back and tackle the issue of burnout before it reaches the crisis point Howard fears is on the horizon, as he explains: “For a start, is 24/7 contact really necessary? Simple cultural changes such as no emails after 7pm or before 7am can really make a difference. Flexible, annual work patterns based on operational demands, lateral development to combat repetitive work, routine mentor meetings, shorter summer hours and study leave, are just some concepts under consideration to safeguard our talent pool from burning out. Promoting healthy eating and exercise can also be highly effective.

“Possibly the most important thing that organisations can do is to look at the workloads handled by their employees and ask honestly if this is a realistic expectation,” he says. “Organisations and their people would do well to embrace the mantra ‘work hard, recover hard, repeat’. Identifying a number of capable ‘recovery buddies’ within an organisation will help provide invaluable support to leaders who are in the wake of corporate burnout.”

Awbery is running a programme of Corporate Burnout roadshows across the UK, in locations including Cardiff, Chester, Derby and London. Its team can design and deliver programmes that support organisations looking to take a proactive approach to corporate burnout by creating and implementing wellbeing strategies. Awbery also provides pioneering leadership and management, HR and coaching solutions.

The book, ‘Pixie Dust V - A Tale of Combatting Corporate Burnout: Protecting Your Talent’, is available to buy from http://awberymanagement.co.uk/pixie-dust/ and: http://www.fast-print.net/bookshop/1790/pixie-dust-v

The Pixie Dust series of books are quick to read, easy to understand management tales that help with leading, managing and communicating change, and have inspired Awbery’s series of Pixie Dust events.

For more information, visit: www.awberymanagement.co.uk, email: enquiries@awberymanagement.co.uk, or Tel: 01283 703828.


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Note: A photograph is supplied with this press release – (caption): Dr Howard G Awbery, author of new book ‘Combating Corporate Burnout’, the fifth and final instalment in his series of Pixie Dust management books.


Issued for and on behalf of Awbery by V Formation Limited.

All media enquiries and for more information or images, contact:

Dr Howard G Awbery

Email: howard.awbery@awberymanagement.co.uk, Tel: 01283 703828.



About Awbery: Awbery has its head office in Repton, Derbyshire and creates and delivers high-impact leadership and management development programmes, HR and coaching solutions.


From 'bite-sized' open courses to bespoke in-company solutions, Awbery programmes build new levels of competence and drive performance improvement.


Awbery has been designing and delivering leadership and management, HR and coaching solutions acrossEnglandandWalesfor 20 years. MD Dr Howard G Awbery founded Awbery Management Centre in 1993. Jane Brockliss is the Operations Director, Mary Sisson is the Business Development Director, and Jane Rawden is Awbery’s Strategic HR Director.


From team leader level through to senior director, Awbery work as a trusted strategic partner across all sectors, designing innovative programmes that  are 100% tailored to each client  needs; from reflecting their systems and processes through to the case studies and client-specific terminology used by Awbery tutors. Its portfolio of public programmes is regarded as an excellent way for individuals and organisations to get a flavour of the Awbery approach.


For more information, visit: www.awberymanagement.co.uk, email: enquiries@awberymanagement.co.uk, or Tel: 01283 703828 or @AwberyTweet

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