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Burnout differs from fatigue because it affects a person’s emotional health and results in low productivity levels. One of the red flags is your mindset not changing about the adverse working conditions despite communication with upper management or taking some time off.
Mental health in the workplace is an essential 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 can result in exhaustion, disconnecting, and a reduced sense of achievement for a team. So how can you help your team overcome burnout when you suffer 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 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.
Firstly, it is vital to focus on yourself and what you are going through to 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 before work at the beginning of each day. Learn to delegate the work and promote outsourcing to provide you with ample room to do other, more critical tasks.
2. Honesty is the Best Policy
Firstly, acknowledge what happened with yourself, upper management, and your team.
Your team will appreciate it more than anything and 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 to address your concerns effectively.
Once you have identified the leading cause of 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 check employees’ emotional check-in before a staff meeting.
3. Evaluate the Organizational Culture
Highly stressful times are natural in any business during a busy season. It can become problematic when this is the order of business daily.
Take time to communicate with your team about priorities, and encourage them to express themselves when they feel overwhelmed.
As much as you 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.
Always make an effort to recognize the extra effort your team puts in and focus on the positives rather than dwelling on the negatives. Organizational culture should evolve with its employees.
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 can 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 the most accessible and energizing activities. Remember to delegate tasks where necessary and interact with your team in a stimulating and positive way.
Conducting a skills assessment for your team and implementing training programs to improve skills across the board might help. It would help if you also considered 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, 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 try so hard to prove yourself. The buildup of pressure and inability to keep up naturally leads to exhaustion.
You are biting off more than you can lead to an emotional drain and diminished capacity in leading a team.
Assuming a leadership role is not easy because you expect a lot, and burnout can feel synonymous with failure.
Attending to your well-being only reaps positive results because you can 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 these activities help us feel stressed or overwhelmed due to work.
It is also essential to keep your door open to your colleagues to discuss ideas to improve efficiency and the working environment.
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