Hospitality Burnout! How to Recognize the Signs and What to Do When You Have Them
Hospitality Burnout is definitely a thing!
How we wish we could all stay as motivated at work as we did right after the new employee orientation! When it was all fresh, new and exciting.
I remember those first few days of high energy and positive vibes. Coming to work perfectly groomed. Greeting everyone with a genuine smile. Tackling each task with enthusiasm.
Feeling like the work you do will truly make a difference in the company and in your guests’ lives.
At the start of your hospitality career you feel like you could do this forever!
That feeling, as much as we want it to last, is unfortunately temporary and short-lived for most people.
A career in the hospitality industry is one that has the potential to drain you. Especially if you are not truly happy with what you are doing.
Working in the industry is a calling. And if you are in it for the wrong reasons, you could easily fall into that dreaded, career-ending condition called “Hospitality burnout.”
What exactly is Hospitality Burnout?
Job burnout is defined as
“a state of exhaustion in which one is cynical about the value of one’s occupation
and doubtful of one’s capacity to perform”
It’s what happens when you no longer enjoy what you are doing at work.
When you feel like you are just dragging yourself to work every day.
When your day has just started and yet you are already feeling stressed and exhausted.
When you no longer find meaning, value and satisfaction in your work.
When you feel a sense of dread at the pit of your stomach at the thought of doing it all again tomorrow.
Hospitality Burnout is real and is something that most of us have experienced at some point in our careers. Unfortunately, it could signal an end to your hospitality career in one way or another.
Either your performance declines so much that you end up losing your job. Or you leave your job.
You may reach the decision to join another company or move into a different industry. Or you might even take a few months off to rest and recharge.
Hospitality Burnout is just as bad for the company as it is for the employee. High staff turnover rates caused by frequent resignations are costly and often have an impact on productivity too.
Companies need to retrain new recruits which has cost and time resources. And it could take weeks or months before newbies can be utilized to their full potential.
Good, employee-centered companies invest in employee engagement activities as part of their employee retention program. This includes company outings, employee events during special occasions and community programs. They want to keep their people happy!
But sometimes even that is not enough.
Employees also need to take steps to prevent themselves from sinking too deep into hospitality burnout. When caught early, it can be prevented before it spirals out of control.
Once you notice signs that you are starting to feel unhappy and anxious at work take a step back and evaluate what is causing this feeling.
It could be a number of things:
- a job or skills mismatch,
- lack of communication or support from your manager,
- colleagues you don’t get along with,
- unfair treatment at work,
- unmanageable workload,
- erratic schedule,
- boredom or lack of new challenges
Just to name a few.
It’s quite easy to spot the signs of hospitality burnout. You may find yourself having a hard time concentrating, become forgetful, easily angered or triggered by the smallest things.
You may be having a difficult time sleeping, or find increasingly that your manager or supervisor is talking to you about your tardiness and absenteeism.
You may experience feeling cynical about your workplace and your colleagues. Or worse, saying it out loud!
It is important to understand the difference between stress and burnout.
Stress often happens when you feel overwhelmed. Or that you are drowning in too much work or too much pressure. Or when demands made of you are too much for you physically and mentally.
Burnout is associated with feeling empty and exhausted, with no motivation or inspiration left.
Stress can be short-lived, and those who experience it often feel like things would be better once they have all their work under control.
Burnout makes a person feel hopeless and unable to imagine a positive change in their situation.
What are some things you can do once you start feeling the symptoms of hospitality burnout?
You should take a few moments every so often to “check in” with yourself. Ask yourself some questions and really think about how you react or think:
“How do I currently feel about my work?”
“Am I on track to meet my goals?”
“Do I still enjoy what I am doing? Why or why not?”
By regularly checking your state of mind and emotions, you are more likely to spot the signs of burnout early on. You can then take the necessary steps to nip it in the bud.
Remember the reason you entered the hotel industry
Sometimes, it helps to take a moment and think about the time you applied for your job in the hospitality industry.
What made you interested in it? Do you have a passion to serve? Do you love making a difference in a person’s day? Do you love the hotel ambiance and the perks and benefits that come along with a hotel job? Do you thrive in an environment with lots of people interaction?
When you start to recall what brought you into hospitality in the first place you may rekindle the feeling of being excited and eager to work and make a difference.
We may become jaded over time with fatigue and stress but if it is truly something you love to do you will always be a hotelier at heart. And you will always find reasons to stay.
Communicate your concerns to your Manager
Do you have so much workload that you feel like you’re drowning and cannot keep up no matter what you do?
Does your existing skill set not match the tasks you were asked to do?
Do you feel you will perform better or be happier if transferred to another section?
Do you have colleagues that make your life at work harder than it should be?
You should be able to communicate these thoughts, worries and concerns to your immediate supervisor or manager.
They might not be aware of the challenges you are going through, and could probably very easily provide a solution for you.
After all, nobody likes a high employee turnover rate. Don’t be too shy to raise your concerns and try to work together for a solution.
Sometimes, a good training session is all it takes to rejuvenate your love for hotel work.
We just need to be reminded of the core reasons why we’re in hospitality, as well as acquire more skills and knowledge to use at work.
Hospitality Burnout often stems from feeling stagnant, as if you are no longer growing at work.
When you feel like everything has become routine and there is no more challenge, that’s when the feelings of hopelessness, boredom and despair start to set in.
Take advantage of training offered by the company to awaken your passion in being a hotelier.
If there is a chance to do cross-training in other departments, consider doing this. It could open your eyes to career opportunities within the industry that might be better suited to your skills and interests. And make you happier in the long run!
Take a break
There are times when a good, solid vacation is just what you need to refresh your senses and get you ready to go back to work.
The hotel industry can be exhausting with its demanding nature. You deal with nonstop attending to the needs of other people. You stretch the limits of your body to accommodate different shift schedules. And you often have so much work to do it starts to become overwhelming.
Listen to your body and heed its call when it tells you it’s time to take a break.
File for a few days leave and take a well-deserved time away from work.
Disconnect from your gadgets, go to your happy place, spend time with your favorite people. And do things you love but otherwise have no time for.
If we take time to charge our gadgets when they get drained of juice, why shouldn’t we do the same for ourselves? As they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup!
You can only provide so much good service, running on almost empty, before you run out of energy or enthusiasm.
So, take the time to recharge and breathe, and you might find yourself nipping that Hospitality Burnout in the bud!
By recognizing the signs of Hospitality Burnout in yourself early on, you can analyze the root causes and get the support and solutions you need in order for you to get back to your prior state of productivity and zest for your career.
What do you do when you start to feel the signs of Burnout? How do you deal with it?
Share it with us in the comments!