Compassion fatigue in the workplace.

It's not just people that get fatigued.

When compassion fatigue hits critical mass in the workplace, the organization itself suffers. Chronic absenteeism, spiraling Worker’s Comp costs and high turnover rates are among organizational symptoms that surface, creating additional stress on workers. A comprehensive list of symptoms is below.

Healing an organization takes time, patience and, most important, commitment. An awareness of compassion fatigue and its far-reaching effects must be present at the highest level of management and work its way down to encompass line staff, as well as volunteers. Often, the mistrust that employees feel toward management is not unfounded. Since many caregiving institutions are non-profit, they inherit additional challenges such as low wages, lack of space, outdated technology, high management turnover and constantly shifting priorities.

Organizational symptoms of compassion fatigue include:

• High absenteeism
• Constant changes in co-workers relationships
• Inability for teams to work well together
• Desire among staff members to break company rules
• Outbreak of aggressive behaviors among staff
• Inability of staff to complete assignments and tasks
• Inability of staff to respect and meet deadlines
• Lack of flexibility among staff members
• Strong reluctance to change
• Inability of staff to trust that improvement is possible
• Lack of vision for the future