Avoiding Employee Burnout
The last year has been incredibly stressful for many. On top of dealing with a global pandemic, many of us continued to work — some from home with distractions or stressors we aren’t used to dealing with, or with smaller teams tackling work that usually took more minds to accomplish. That mix of stress and change both at the office and outside of it was the perfect recipe for employee burnout. Burnout is a state of emotional, mental and or/physical exhaustion caused by excessive and ongoing stress. As leaders, it’s important to recognize that our team members may be experiencing employee burnout at higher rates than ever before — and just how draining that can be. Luckily, there are ways to avoid employee burnout before it can zap your team of energy and motivation.
Recognize the symptoms
The best way to avoid employee burnout is to recognize the early symptoms before it completely sets in. Everyone might express feeling burnout a little bit differently, but the main early symptoms are often the same: Frustration, anger, a lack of motivation and brain fog. If you notice your team members seem to be feeling one or more of these symptoms on a steady basis — and we’re talking about more than being frustrated after a difficult meeting — they could be on the verge of burnout.
Refocus on your purpose
If you’re lucky, you are at your current job for more than a paycheck — you’re there because you enjoy what you are doing and find a sense of purpose in your work. Hopefully you’ve cultivated a team who feels similarly.
If you think an employee is on the verge of burnout, take some time to help them refocus on what this purpose is for them. As a leader, your higher purpose might be guiding your team and helping them grow into purposeful leaders in their own right. What is your employee’s purpose? Are they the one putting in the work that changes your clients’ lives? Does the company’s mission statement mean something special to them? Whatever it is, patiently help them refocus on it — taking the time to reconnect with that higher purpose will reinvigorate your employee and help dissipate feelings of burnout.
Create or maintain work-life balance
As many of us have switched to remote work in the last year, the lines around work-life balance have been blurred. Your employees may feel that since they work from home, they have to be “on” all of the time, but that’s one of the quickest paths to burnout. It’s important that your team members have designated time to themselves outside of work — this could be time with family, working out, enjoying personal hobbies — whatever it is, they need to know they can make it a priority. They cannot be great employees if their own personal wellbeing is on the backburner. Personal time helps replenish the mind and keep burnout at bay, so make sure you’re supporting work-life balance — don’t be the leader that demand employees are ready and able to answer your emails at all hours of the day.
It’s important to stay vigilant and be a leader that employees can trust when they’re feeling employee burnout begin to rear its head. If your employees don’t feel they can trust you with how they’re feeling at work, burnout may strike before you have a chance to help them get ahead of it.
If you feel like burnout has already got the best of you or your team, reach out today for a free coaching session.