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MPL Liability Insurance Sector Report: 2023 Financial Results Analysis and 2024 Financial Outlook

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Hear analysis and commentary on 2023 industry results and learn what to watch for in the sector in 2024, including an analysis of the key industry financial drivers.

MPL Association’s National Advocacy Initiative in Full Swing

The MPL Association is shifting its focus toward state policy makers with a new program—the National Advocacy Initiative. This comes at an important time for the MPL community as the deteriorating policy environment in the states is resulting in increasing attacks on established reforms.



How to Navigate Tech Project Implementation and Avoid Burnout

By Mat Winter and Dr. Brittney Murray

Almost every day, we wake up, grab a little breakfast, travel to our office—or sit down at our dining room table—and log in to our computers. Work is an essential part of almost everyone’s day and depending on a few things, can be stressful or fulfilling—many times, both. The extremely stressful days can lead to what many of us know as burnout. This is especially true when implementing a new technology solution.

There are many moving parts, deadlines, and pressures to deliver well tested software. In the medical professional liability (MPL) insurance industry, chasing efficiency is a constant endeavor. One familiar solution is a new technology platform. As soon as this journey begins, at least part of the organization transforms into a technology business. With this comes new and interesting challenges that can ultimately culminate in a positive return on investment.

This article is the second part of a four-part series around the people behind new technology implementations. This article explores the reasons for burnout and how to help your coworkers, employees, and yourself with burnout. Much, if not all, of the information below can be used or applied in almost any setting or industry. In subsequent articles, we will explore project decision making, prioritization, and communication.

The ABCs of Burnout

Burnout is defined as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed,” according to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). This is not to say that all stress is bad stress. Instead, the definition notes that chronically and abnormally high stress can lead to burnout. Workload and stress management are key to avoiding or mitigating stress and workload management.

If you are stressed but not burned out, you are likely to feel that you can manage your stress and accomplish tasks. However, you move into burnout territory when that stress leads to feelings of failure, being overwhelmed, hopelessness, or extreme physical and mental exhaustion.

When does burnout occur? According to the Mayo Clinic, causes of burnout include:

  • Lack of control over aspects of your job functioning, such as schedule, workload, or assignments
  • Lack of clarity surrounding expectations from your supervisor or your organization
  • Conflict with others such as a supervisor, co-workers, or customers
  • Being overwhelmed with too much work
  • Disengagement with boring work
  • Lack of support from your supervisor, co-workers, or clients
  • Lack of work-life balance

If you are burned out, your brain actually undergoes neurophysiological changes. “Neurophysiological and neuroimaging studies provide evidence for impairments in cognitive and emotional processing in burnout that helps broaden our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying emotional exhaustion and depersonalization/cynicism, which are the core components of burnout,” wrote the authors of Neurophysiological Markers of Emotion Processing in Burnout Syndrome.

Frequently, burnout leads to irrational thoughts because chronic distress activates and overloads the emotional brain—the limbic system—and reduces activity in rational and logical brain areas. Burnout can occur during project implementation if the project objectives are not clear, if either the customer or technology organization isn’t sufficiently organized, or if your work life balance is out of sync. You or any of the project stakeholders can get stressed in a way that can lead to burnout if deadlines are missed, costs escalate unexpectedly, or the project doesn’t deliver the expected outcomes.

If, for example, an underwriter is taken onto the project, they may not have business analyst experience. Business analysts are typically the bridge between the business (carrier) and the developers. Responsibilities for this role would usually include understanding what the new system should be able to handle, what results are expected and how to test these scenarios. At times, this can be a bit of a learning curve and if the underwriter—or any regular user—does not have clear guidelines on how to test, who to talk to when they have questions, or how to submit a trouble ticket, then the slippery slope of burnout is much steeper.

Helping Your Employees: Ways to Prevent and Address Employee Burnout

More than one-third of tech professionals—42%—report experiencing burnout at some point in their careers. For tech professionals who report high levels of burnout, a significant portion are at risk for either quitting or leaving their implementation projects, which can lead to delays in implementation, increases in software issues, and budget overruns.

If you’re a supervisor involved in an implementation project, it’s important to recognize the signs of employee burnout. “There are many potential causes of burnout in today’s workplaces—excessive workloads, low levels of support, having little say or control over workplace matters, lack of recognition or rewards for one’s efforts, and interpersonally toxic and unfair work environments,” said Mindy Shoss, professor of psychology at the University of Florida, in an American Psychological Association article about workplace burnout.

To alleviate the drivers of burnout, encourage executives, managers, and employees to learn from their mistakes rather than resorting to blaming. Such a “growth mindset” is part of a healthy corporate culture that helps employees to internalize motivation and create intrinsic drive, according to an article published in Brain Science.

Extending appreciation to employees is another method of preventing burnout, as burnout is stoked by a lack of recognition, noted a study by Workhuman and Gallup. In fact, employees who receive the appropriate amount of recognition are less prone to burnout and have stronger relationships with their coworkers, the study related.

Burnout: Helping Yourself

To prevent burnout, it’s important to take regular breaks throughout the day that involve stepping away from your computer and focusing on a different activity. Something as simple as taking a walk or grabbing lunch with coworkers, friends, or family can be restorative during tough days at work. Taking paid time off is a crucial tool to prevent burnout.

Mindfulness and meditation are also excellent tools for dealing with stress, according to a number of scientific studies. Mindfulness involves paying deliberate attention to your emotions, feelings, thoughts, and actions as they unfold. Meditation involves focusing on a specific object, such as your breath, with your full attention, letting thoughts and feelings fall away.

Combat Burnout

Burnout can’t be fixed overnight. Turning around burnout in your organization, and/or yourself, will require consistency and dedication to improving the workplace experience. You’ll need to consider increases in resources, mentoring, and opportunities for advancement, as well as evaluating boundaries around work-life balance and ensuring that a healthy balance is reflected and modeled all the way to the top.

Organizations that put in the effort to improve engagement and reduce burnout will reap the rewards in retention. Microsoft’s 2022 Trend Index report found that organizations that “doubled down on employee engagement in times of economic uncertainty” ultimately performed twice as well financially compared to organizations that did not prioritize engagement. And according to the report, “each additional point of engagement reported by employees correlated with a +$46,511 difference in market cap per employee.”

The benefits of curbing burnout in your organization include better retention, less cost to the company, and the assurance that you’re consistently meeting business goals. If your organization is experiencing the negative effects of burnout, it’s time to step back and evaluate the employee experience and identify what needs to be fixed and improved. This, in turn, will create the best possible tech solution that will continually streamline your business for years to come.


Mat Winter is a senior business analyst at Simplify.

Dr. Brittney Murray is a forensic neuropsychologist and owner of Brain Health Solutions LLC.
“To alleviate the drivers of burnout, encourage executives, managers, and employees to learn from their mistakes rather than resorting to blaming. Such a ‘growth mindset’ is part of a healthy corporate culture.“