Companies are at a very high risk of burnout culture. Most of them don’t realize they are being a part of it, which is why they don’t see the signs of burnout until it’s too late and either themselves or their employees are calling in sick regularly. Most companies had to change their business models after the pandemic, and so many companies are still working with much smaller workforces.
One thing that most business leaders did discover during the pandemic, however, is that they were at the edge of burnout and they didn’t even realize it. Isolation induced anxiety brought a lot of issues to the surface, and one of those is that leaders are burning out. They are spending so much time at work and dealing with employees and working after hours that they are ignoring the signs and symptoms that their bodies are going through to tell them that it’s too much. You already know that you have to make time for yourself, and that means doing what you can to avoid contributing to burnout culture and dealing with burnout yourself. The first thing to do is to recognize that burnout is not just a maladaptive reaction to stress. It’s actually observed as an organizational phenomenon. Basically, if your employees are dealing with burnout then it’s your organization and your company that could be the problem. If you want to avoid burnout in your business and in yourself, you need these tips.
- Keep communicating. You will know if burnout is occurring in your business if you are talking to employees about how they’re feeling. During any period of change employees have to understand your future vision and your direction, and an unknown future can make people feel unsafe and stressed out. It could also lead to outcomes that you did not predict. When you keep communicating with your employees, you can avoid burnout being the case and you can ensure that everybody is feeling well in themselves.
- Maintain your well being policies. As a business leader you need to have the right policies in place to ensure ethical violations are not occurring. Stress and demands increase as a business becomes more successful, which means it’s more likely that your employees will take unethical shortcuts to achieve their goals. Workplace bullying can and does get worse under stress and the last thing that you need is anybody feeling isolated or away from the crowd. Ensuring that you have wellbeing policies in place will ensure that self care is something that everybody is taking part in.
- Maintain dialogue across departments. When your employees feel like they can express their ideas and all of their concerns, you are able to give them that chance to trust you with their enthusiasm. As a business leader this is super important because you need that enthusiasm for your business to thrive. If people are not expressing their ideas and they are not able to discuss things with other departments, that ambition is going to wane and stress will build.
- Don’t forget yourself. You need to have a manageable workload and a manageable schedule even if you are a leader. Just because you’re the person in charge doesn’t mean you also have to stay at work all of the hours you can think of including weekends. Yes, it takes commitment and time to build a business to where it is, that doesn’t mean you have to harm yourself in the process. In fact, you need to ensure that you have policy changes in place that means that every single individual in your business is not doing overtime. If people are not able to get their work done within business hours then there needs to be some time management training. You could also consider introducing a four day work week and still ensure that everybody feels motivated and maintains that.
- Manage goals. Avoiding burnout isn’t a simple thing, but if you have every one of your employees on track, you should be able to avoid it for longer. Business as usual is not the same thing as it was before the pandemic, so talk to your staff and ask them what would make them more comfortable during the working day. You’d be surprised just how many people have issues and need to discuss it with somebody who can listen.
- Provide the right resources. If you want to help your employees to succeed, then you need to ensure that they have the right resources to do so. If some of your employees need flexibility and working from home, then if it’s available, offer it. You have to realize that as long as people are hitting their goals and meeting the demands of their job, that’s what’s necessary, not where they do it.
- Build an equal culture. Office politics often contributes to the stress in the office. When people work remotely and without face to face conversations they can sometimes get worse, but if you are creating an equitable culture across all levels, you won’t have this problem. Problematic office politics can violate those ethics we talked about earlier on, so make sure that you are burying yourself in that policy correctly and everybody will be comfortable.
- Be an active listener. Avoiding burnout often means ensuring that you are avoiding it for other people. Being an active listener will help you to keep your employees Carmen happy. It allows people to feel heard and it can help you to identify potential issues before they start. This is super important if you want to stop problems from affecting team collaboration.
- Interact with compassion. As a leader, you can still be in charge without being rude, a bully, or a micro manager. The stress of your own job is going to come back and bite you, but taking out on your employees is never a good idea. We’ve all been up in a position when we’ve had a boss who came in their door one day and we’ll have to walk on eggshells as a result. You need to show your team that you genuinely care, and transparency as well as vulnerability can help you to build trust.
- Billtrust. If your team needs to call you during the day to tell you that they need a mental health day or they are having a time at work where they don’t feel they can contribute because they have issues in their lives distracting them, then you need to build trust. People should be able to come to you and tell you that they have issues happening in their life outside work and if they can’t do that then these issues are going to build up and they’re going to affect their performance. You can avoid this from happening by being an open and understanding leader.