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Kumanu: Facilitating Care, Connection, and Preventing Burnout

Burnout is a topic that has gained a lot of steam in national discussions around workplace culture in recent years, as well as various suggestions as to what can be done to assuage or mitigate this issue. Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress or overwork, often leading to a diminished sense of accomplishment, cynicism, and a lack of motivation. 

As is common with topics that are newly introduced to the zeitgeist, the suggestions that have been raised concerning this topic have ranged from prescient to ineffectual. One aspect that has yet to be adequately addressed in this discussion is the consideration of individuals outside the workplace context and how their well-being directly impacts the workplace. With Trunorth Institute’s well-recognized strength in approaching organizing from a humanistic perspective, we are seeking ways in which leaders of organizations can support their employees on a holistic scale without overreaching or invading their private lives. 

In line with this goal, we at Trunorth Institute are excited about the launch of our new Purposeful App, developed in partnership with Kumanu, a platform dedicated to promoting the well-being of individuals within organizations, thereby ensuring sustainable growth. The new Purposeful App offers numerous features to assist individuals on a personal level, ultimately impacting the broader organizational landscape. The Purposeful App is not a cure, but rather a tool that we seek to place into the hands of organizations to allow them better to diagnose themselves on a much more individual level and provide support and guidance for the necessary adjustments that must be made afterward.

Self-Assessment and Goal Setting

In an article in the Harvard Business Review titled 'Beyond Burned Out,' which analyzes and discusses trends in workplace burnout, six main causes are identified. These include unsustainable workloads, insufficient rewards for effort, lack of fairness, perceived lack of control, lack of a supportive community, and mismatched values and skills. Of these six, the first three would have to be addressed through a reformation of organizational practices, but the latter three are more dependent on workplace culture and the individuals within it. As we mentioned before, addressing burnout will require paying attention to more than just the workplace.

 Some of the first features of the Purposeful App that are important to mention are its daily check-ins and support. Each day, the Purposeful App requests that the user consider how they are feeling at the start of their day, and then it provides a directory of resources that users can utilize to find viable practices and strategies on how they can either maintain or improve their day moving forward. Burnout accumulates over a long period of time, and this self-assessment is something that people often skip over day after day until they collapse. This feature of the Purposeful App will help these individuals check in with themselves and ensure that they don’t get caught in this vicious cycle.

Habit Building

In keeping with the previous tenet, a key concept behind the approach of the Purposeful App is the practice of positive reinforcement and habit-building (positive self-speak). The connections between performance and self-speak we engage in are well-documented. In the modern era, much of this conversation has been tied to the concepts of affirmations and mantras, which for some can make the reality of the effects of self-speak seem more spiritual and ephemeral, rather than practical and useful. However, this perspective overlooks the direct and observable relationship between thoughts and actions.

A vast majority of our self-speak is done unconsciously and automatically, which can lead us to underestimate its effects naturally, but self-speak is crafted and informs the beliefs of the individual engaging in it. Self-speak is capable of changing your future insofar as it allows you to take control of the self-fulfilling and self-defeating cycles that can be tied to the effects that negative self-speak has on a person. The world is not a static ecosystem; it is constantly changing and interacting with what you approach it with. 

Self-speak directly alters your perception and attitude, two things that often have a heavy bearing on our professional lives: the way we show up to a challenge, and how we choose to deal with that challenge. It is why charisma will always be a major aspect of organizing because it inspires confidence, and confidence energizes and enhances the quality of work. 

To aid in taking control of our self-talk, the Purposeful App allows you to set habit reminders that contain within them the importance and intention behind the habits you are seeking to set for yourself, ensuring that you are cognizant of your thoughts and how they affect your behavior, as well as track those behaviors over time as you work to change them. The Purposeful App also contains its own calendar that aids you in tracking these changes over time so that you are able to view your journey on a macro-level and ensure that the changes you make are in alignment with the goals that you outlined for yourself. 

The eternal struggle of large-scale organizing is that the larger the organization becomes, the more work has to be broken down and delegated, and the harder it becomes for the people at the head of the organization to monitor all the different compartments that make up the whole. This is particularly true when it comes to humans, who are always in a state of flux and change, regarding their goals, financial situations, familial relationships, medical needs, and the list goes on. 

With the broad and diverse array of factors that cause changes in organizations and the many different effects these changes can cause, there needs to be a way to ensure that individual members of an organization can assess themselves before a small issue is allowed to grow to the point of burnout or collapse. Trunorth Institute is proud to provide the  Purposeful App to address this common blind spot for organizations that would allow them to ensure that their well-being is maintained as they experience change and growth.

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