Mental health in the workplace is an important facet of a productive workforce. And the negligence thereof might result in a phenomenon known as ‘burnout.’ The World Health Organization recently recognized burnout as a prevalent reality in workplaces.
Burnout differs from fatigue because it affects a person’s emotional health and it results in low levels of productivity. One of the red flags is your mindset not changing about the negative working conditions despite communication with upper management or taking some time off.
Burnout can result in exhaustion, disconnecting, and a reduced sense of achievement for a team.
So how can you help your team overcome a burnout when you are suffering from one too?
1. Take Things One Day at a Time
Remember that Rome was not built in a day. There is always room to learn as a leader, something that we can learn from Starbucks. Give yourself a month or two for recovery, alter your routine, and research ways to create a healthier working environment.
It is important to firstly focus on yourself and what you are going through so that you can be there for your colleagues. Taking a moment to refocus your priorities may seem selfish at first. But with time, it will create a more positive working environment.
Apart from taking time, you can take a few minutes to meditate at the beginning of each day before work. Learn to delegate the work and promote outsourcing. This will provide you with ample room to do other tasks that are more important.
2. Honesty is the Best Policy
Firstly, acknowledging what happened with yourself, upper management, and then your team is very important.
Your team will appreciate it more than anything. And it will encourage them to be honest about their feelings of stress too.
When communicating your challenges with higher management, find time to delineate your issues in writing in an email. Alternatively, you can set up a meeting with your HR Manager so that your concerns are addressed effectively.
Once you have identified the main cause of the burnout for you and your team, you can create a routine that focuses on emotional well-being at least once a week.
For example, you can do an emotional check-in with employees before a staff meeting.
3. Evaluate the Organizational Culture
Highly stressful times are natural in any business when it is a busy season. It can become problematic when this is the order of business on a daily basis.
Take time to communicate with your team about priorities, and encourage them to express themselves when they feel that they are overwhelmed.
As much as you want to encourage employees to take the initiative, they do not have to say yes to everything. Encourage healthy working habits like not taking work home, and mitigating the need for overtime.
4. Innovation is Key
Sometimes a simple thing such as too many meetings can cause unnecessary stress and divert a team from urgent tasks. Think: could this be communicated in a single email? Perhaps look into Project Management tools that can assist in limiting face to face interaction.
Promote sustainable productivity and effective time management by setting an example. Start with managing your own time, testing out innovative tools and disseminating them among team members.
Working on a shared platform saves a lot of time going back and forth, and you are able to offer live feedback. Some of these platforms are paid. But it’s worth the money you spend. Slack and Trello, for example, are widely used and you can access them on the move from your mobile as well.
5. Increase Resources
Prioritize the tasks you spend your time on and understand which activities are the easiest and energizing. Remember to delegate tasks where necessary, and interact with your team in a way that is stimulating and positive.
Conducting a skills’ assessment for your team and implementing training programs to improve skills across the board might help. You should also consider continuing your studies or picking up a course or two.
Lastly, always stay up to date with the current trends and tools in leadership out there by reading different resources.
The Results of a Burnout
We often go into a job with the mission to excel in it and exceed the expectations set out for us by the organization’s management.
It often begins with some team members lagging behind, and you are hell-bent on ticking all the boxes.
You begin to get into the habit of doing work outside of your job description because you are trying so hard to prove yourself. The buildup of pressure and not being able to keep up naturally leads to exhaustion.
Biting off more than you can chew can lead to emotional drain and diminished capacity in leading a team.
Assuming a leadership role is not easy because a lot is expected of you and a burnout can feel synonymous to failure.
Attending to your own well-being only reaps positive results because you are able to function more productively. Admitting that you are at the edge is the first step to recovery.
We often get lost in our careers, neglecting time with loved ones and ditching our hobbies. That’s a pretty bad idea as it’s these activities that help us when we are feeling stressed, or overwhelmed due to work.
It is also important to keep your door open to your colleagues to discuss ideas to improve efficiency and the working environment.
How Can You Help Your Team With Burnout?
If you have ideas that you feel like sharing that might be helpful to readers, share them in the comments section below. Thanks!
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