2020 was a tough year for many reasons, and one of the biggest is that most of us were stuck in our homes.
Working from home can be a boon for many as it has helped them spend more time with their family and work more comfortably. However, not being able to go to the office for work, having dedicated working space and hours, interacting with co-workers etc. have negatively impacted many employees.
There’s no definite way to determine the people who are more likely to burn out. Burnout can hit anyone - a manager, a business owner or team members.
But why bother about burnout at all and not let your team deal with it on their own? As a leader, you have a moral responsibility for ensuring your team’s well-being. But apart from that, burnout can be detrimental to your team’s productivity, motivation and commitment to the job.
Apart from causing physical exhaustion, burnout can also lead to reduced work productivity and efficiency, which can negatively impact your company’s growth. Hence, it’s vital that you identify burnout, determine the cause and take measures to avoid it. In this article, let’s look at different tactics you can use to prevent a full team burnout.
1. Understand the main causes of burnout
The first step to avoiding burnout is to understand and identify the potential causes of it.
Here are some common causes of employee burnout:
- Unmanageable workload
- Extreme time pressures
- Lack of recognition and voice in the company
- Lack of goals and work direction
- Repeated failures
- Poor workplace culture and communication
- Lack of timely support from superiors and peers
- Family pressures
- Lack of definite boundaries
- Disturbing events
While some may be common causes, some others may be specific to your organization. For example, if you’re operating a ecommerce fulfilment service center, then your warehouse staff may be experiencing a different kind of burnout due to specific causes. It’s essential that you identify such specific causes and take steps to nip them in the bud.
2. Take steps to identify burned out team members
If you’ve landed on this article, the chances are that your team is already facing burnout or at the brink of one. So, it’s essential that you take measures to identify the members who are undergoing burnout.
Here are a few signs that you’ll commonly find in burned-out employees:
- Repeatedly missing deadlines
- Low on energy and frequent sick days
- Lack of enthusiasm towards work
- Lowered engagement with superiors and peers
- Low on energy
- Lack of learning and professional growth
Through constant interaction and 1-1 connections, you can easily identify burned-out employees and take steps to help them get through it. The chances are that these employees might not know it themselves that they are facing burnout. Hence, you can have a proactive approach here.
3. Connect with your team one-on-one
As mentioned in the previous step, connecting with your team one-on-one may be the key to identifying burned-out employees and avoiding potential burnout. Make it a point to connect with them frequently and most importantly listen.
Listen to their concerns and be considerate towards them in these tough times. It’s also important that you nudge your team in the right direction. Setting realistic goals and nudging them towards it may be significantly helpful in getting them back on track with work.
4. Normalize breaks
In the pre-COVID era, breaks were completely normal. Water cooler breaks, team lunches, coffee breaks, etc. were essential elements of a typical workday. But with a work-from-home setup, your employees may not have any breaks at all, and they probably spend the whole day monotonously on their work desk.
Breaks are essential to recharge your employees and let them heave a sigh of relief. Hence, make it a point to encourage your employees to take breaks. In fact, you can assign specific times in a workday and ask your employees to compulsorily take a break, either as a team or with their family members.
5. Conduct team building events
A lack of connection and support amongst team members can also be one of the leading causes for full team burnout. Your team may be so consumed in work and family responsibilities that they may have lost connection with their peers.
You can rekindle this connection by allocating time each week for team-building activities that aren’t related to work. Video conferencing tools have made it so much easier to connect as a team and have fun together.
6. Educate your team on burnout
Though your team may be aware of burnout, they might not necessarily know when they’re burned out. Hence, it’s essential that you educate your team on everything about burnout, just like you’re getting educated yourself through this article.
Gather your team and let them know the causes, symptoms and effects of burnout. Help them take personal measures to avoid burnout. This way, your job of avoiding burnout amongst your team gets easier as everyone looks after their well-being.
7. Set a good example
Lastly, it’s important that, as a leader, you set a good example. If you work all day, avoid taking breaks, don’t get involved in team-building activities and show up on calls feeling exhausted, then the chances are that your team is also going to follow the same path.
Therefore, make changes in your lifestyle and take active measures to avoid burnout yourself. This way, you set a good example for your team, and you’ll achieve your company’s goals a lot quicker.
To conclude, we can say that burnout is a serious problem that can have a significant negative impact on your company’s work environment and productivity. The tactics offered in this article will help you understand everything about team burnout and help you avoid it.