‘Women can be good allies’ in dealing with burnout

Angela Lee (pictured), senior vice president – regional claims director, southeast c Marsh McLennan Agency (MMA), can confirm the feeling of burnout and fatigue at the age of 21 in the insurance industry.

“I’ve definitely felt it at different points in my career,” Lee said. “One thing I’ve learned recently is that prioritizing self-care is very important. It was difficult at the time to find the time to be active in the activities.

“I have a rule that if it’s on my calendar, it’s going to happen. So, I found that scheduling helps me. I make some time with myself, whether it’s just going to Starbucks, or meeting a friend or colleague for lunch, just to get away from my desk.”

Lee, who is set to speak at a panel at Women in Atlanta Insurance summit in March, it’s well known how difficult it can be to switch off while working from home during COVID-19. Joining the MMA two years ago at the height of the disease, he was also eager to prove himself in his new role.

“There was no time to turn it off because your computer was always there. I felt like working more hours and doing more work,” said the head of insurance. “There’s a lot of stress that comes with trying to establish yourself in a new role and get a feel for the company and your responsibilities.”

How can women be better friends with other women in the workplace?

For Lee, internal pressure plays a major role in women’s burnout rates. Managing their responsibilities at home and at work can be very rewarding for women, who are often found to be the primary caregivers for their children. But women should also champion each other in difficult times by showing love to each other, she said.

“I think we often feel that we have to do more than our men to show our worth in a particular role, especially the higher we go,” said a Lee. “Internal pressures cause us to wake up early and work late, work on weekends, and sometimes take time away from our families in order to prove ourselves.

“Since we hold ourselves to a higher standard, I have often found that women can be difficult for each other. We answer to each other, which is great. But I think we should do that in a loving way, and be partners and support each other.

The vicious cycle of internal stress and burnout can take its toll on working women. According to Lee, this was the highest for him during the time of COVID-19, but it also helped him to develop a better perspective about himself. work-life balance and mental health.

“You get to a point where you’re like, ‘Why am I doing this?'” Lee said. “It gives you a perspective about what’s important, about valuing your mental health and excellence so that you can lead your team in the right direction. It made me think about what I could do better, and the fact that I should prioritize.

How can insurance leaders prevent employee burnout?

Establishing a high demand changes in his daily routines, work priorities, and self-care habits has made a big difference for Lee. As an insurance leader, he wants to make sure his staff can overcome extreme fatigue. The key, he said, is communication.

“I encourage my team to be open and keep their communication going. I often catch up with them and ask, ‘How are you doing? Do you have any voice concerns? Do you have any problems?’ in capacity?’ and I want them to be vocal and honest,” said Lee. “It helps to have meaningful conversations about managing the workload, especially when adjustments are needed.

“There are many different ways now to remove some of the work that causes fatigue so that professionals can focus on more meaningful work.”

And contrary to what some may believe, burnout cannot be solved by simply taking a day off. Leaders must address the root causes of stress in their workforce if they want to see improved morale and avoid burnout.

“If I take some time for some rest and relaxation, it can definitely ease the fatigue now. But it doesn’t address the root problems of the burnout, which is usually your workload, the time you put in, and your responsibilities with your internal and external partners,” Lee said.

The annual Women in Insurance Atlanta conference aims to showcase women and their achievements and contributions to the industry. Register now for the in-person meetingwhich will be held at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel on March 2, 2023.

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