- Posted by jwp_institute
- On February 22, 2021
- 0 Comments
In our first blog, we discussed ways to build awareness and compassionate recognition of burnout. Now it’s time to examine the components of being proactive regarding burnout and explore the value of self-reflection in preventing burnout. Often, organizations need to evolve select pieces of their systems so that their team members, colleagues, and leaders feel supported and connected to each other and their work mission.
If you recognize signs of burnout on your team, try to refrain from the impulse to jump in and do their job for them. It can certainly be tempting to take care of something yourself – it’s no fun to watch others struggle, especially if you know how to do their task yourself. But picking up others’ workloads is not a viable long-term solution, and if you try to rescue everyone, you’ll wind up overwhelmed and burnt out yourself. Instead, work with them to see if you can develop a solution that works for both of you. Find out what they’ve done in similar situations when they felt overloaded and what’s helped them cope. Be curious about what they need to feel more supported and help them uncover ways to build those things into their work lives.
Perhaps one of the best strategies to prevent burnout is to take stock of what your team is experiencing and your contributions as a leader to solutions and problems. It will always be easier to be a great leader when everything is running smoothly, and people are happy. The challenge for a leader in times of crisis is to practice balancing the needs of clients, the organization, and the workforce.
Recently, I met with a CEO on a new initiative she is launching that’s a significant change for the organization. When we spoke, she said she was ready to kick off the program in January and meet with her leadership team that week. She wants to talk with them first because she’s concerned about asking employees to take on a new project with the added burdens on their already stressed lives. With the rise of COVID-19 cases, shutdowns, schools closing, and most working from home, she knows her workforce is worn thin.
As a CEO practicing awareness of burnout, she is also naming that burnout and engaging others in a collaborative solution. Instead of forging ahead with a new project she is excited about, she’s engaging her leadership team in a conversation about timing, planning, and assessing energy levels so she doesn’t burn out her team on a project that could wait until spring. By balancing what is best for their customers, the organization, and their employees, she sets up her organization for sustainability, growth, and success.
Continuing to add more and more expectations on colleagues who may already be sinking comes at a price. Their emotional and mental health, family life, and general health and well-being could all be impacted. When the crisis is over, they will remember what leaders did or didn’t do, and it will affect their trust and influence how they perform in the future. By filling up your team member’s cups when they are running low, you invest in your organization, customers, and team members’ future health.