Even your most reliable team members could experience workplace burnout, but following a few quick tips can help keep everyone on the right track
- Burnout is common in high-stress workplace environments.
- Multiple factors can contribute to workplace burnout.
- You can implement some strategies to reduce these issues.
- Organizations that protect their teams from burnout should see better organizational outcomes.
Workplace burnout is a significant issue for teams in organizations of all sizes around the world. Not only does this issue hurt in-office productivity, but it can also challenge the company’s culture and create long-term divisions between team members and management. Burnout can also lead to reduced well-being among team members, driving increased levels of dissatisfaction and turnover.
Burnout is often the direct result of emotional exhaustion or depersonalization, where individuals feel disconnected from their thoughts and feelings. These reactions are more common in high-pressure work environments, particularly when workers have exposure to significant stress over long periods. However, the Covid 19 pandemic has created the conditions for increased burnout even in the best work environments, as team members manage complex emotions and increased responsibilities at home.
Here’s a look at five tips you can use to show care for your team members and help to minimize workplace burnout in your organization.
1. Managing team member workloads can prevent workplace burnout
Overworked team members often deal with elevated stress levels that can lead to burnout when not addressed. Teams can avoid that by ensuring they don’t put too much on a single worker’s plate at any given time.
Tight deadlines, while sometimes necessary, can also bring burnout, mainly when there’s no break between projects. Planning each team member’s workload to ensure there’s enough time to complete each project in a reasonable timeline can reduce stress, as can delegating specific tasks to others when you notice a team member struggling.
Opening up lines of communication is an essential way to manage workloads as well. If the company creates a comfortable environment where workers are encouraged to notify management when they’re feeling overwhelmed – whether at work or at home — it can potentially prevent workplace burnout from taking hold.
2. Create a sense of community
Isolation can sometimes lead to burnout because team members may feel like they’re all alone while taking on workplace tasks. The result is the job becoming more imposing than it otherwise would be when working as a team.
Creating a community within the office ensures everyone has the support they need to thrive in the workplace. This approach can also lead to positive morale and an environment where everyone can rely on others to get through their tasks.
Much like friends and family can improve your mental health outside of work, helping individuals build collective bonds as a team can prevent workplace burnout in the office.
HeartMath for teams is one such community-building technique, as it uses interactive workshops and training sessions to give team members the tools they need to create a healthier work environment and prevent workplace burnout. The result is more efficient meetings, better collaboration, improved energy, and enhanced problem-solving abilities for teams.
3. Encourage input and engagement
Team members may feel demotivated when they aren’t clear how their work aligns with the company’s goals or they don’t feel like their contributions are recognized or appreciated by the organization.
One way a team can overcome this issue is by ensuring every team member knows how vital their work is to the company’s long-term vision. Hosting quarterly All-Team meetings and monthly Town Halls are two effective ways to do that.
It’s also important that managers allow their team members to decide when and how they do their tasks, rather than micromanaging every second of their days. As long as the worker completes tasks by deadlines provided well in advance, trusting them to work on their own terms can build bridges and prevent workplace burnout.
4. Hire competent leaders
In some situations, the managers you have leading teams within your organization can drive burnout. A good leader is someone who shields workers from stress and other causes of burnout, putting them in a position to succeed long-term.
However, ineffective, incompetent, or inexperienced managers across all industries make poor decisions, alienate their teams, abuse their power, and make the office altogether an unpleasant place to spend time. If your team members dread coming to work each day because of their managers’ behaviors, workplace burnout could become a significant issue in your company.
Look for traits like curiosity, emotional intelligence, empathy, and calmness among those chosen for leadership positions within your organization. Individuals with these attributes are more likely to create positive bonds with the rest of your team, forming a cohesive environment for everyone.
5. Implement mental health breaks
For some, work can become an obsession. These individuals constantly check their emails and can’t leave work alone for long enough to grab a coffee or a bite to eat.
Although this work ethic seems like a positive trait, particularly if your organization is busy and everyone has a significant workload, failing to take mental health breaks can drive burnout. Encouraging, or even mandating, that your team members take some time away from the job can work wonders for their mental health and help them return to the office in a better frame of mind.
Short breaks throughout the day, such as quick walks around the block or a 5-minute meditation practice, are also important to reduce stress and help prevent workplace burnout.
Get advice on how to prevent workplace burnout and set your team up for success
Preventing workplace burnout isn’t a straightforward process, as there’s no catch-all technique to handle this issue. However, treating your teams with empathy and compassion goes a long way toward reducing stress and improving outcomes.
360Rocks helps organizations of all sizes unlock their full potential with proven tools and techniques to create balance within the workplace while making a positive impact in the world. Our guidance, coaching, and workshops help business owners promote unity and optimize efficiency within their companies. Contact 360Rocks today to set up a free 90-minute discovery workshop with our team.