We’ve all had bad days or times when we need a “mental health” day, but what do you do if your team is burned out and fed up? The best option is to pay attention to the early warning signs of burnout.
- Does your team seem unmotivated?
- Are they disgruntled or do they snap at each other?
- Do they seem disengaged?
- Have they lost their passion?
- Are they overloaded with work?
If you sense that your team is burned out, there are ways to help improve the situation. Recognizing that burnout is both physical and emotional is important.
Some ways to prevent burnout include providing recognition for a job well done, giving them control over their work, adjusting workloads, teaching them how to delegate or say no when appropriate and providing opportunities to change roles or tasks.
As a manager, you can also ensure that your team is taking time off when needed. In today’s environment of smart phones, many feel pressured to respond immediately to emails or calls, even after hours. Let employees know that it is OK to turn off the devices and disconnect at night and over the weekend. Encourage employees to take vacations and leave the worries of work behind! Most importantly, set a good example. If you are sending emails at 4 a.m. and working around the clock, your employees will feel pressured to do the same.
If employees are dealing with particularly trying times, it might also be appropriate to provide them with the contact information for the Employee Assistance Program (EAP), if your company has one. These programs offer stress management advice and a wealth of other resources to help those who are struggling.
Finally, ask your team what you can do to help and make sure they know that it is your job to help them! Being honest and authentic as you approach your team will help avoid burnout and lead to long term success.