Leading Through Burnout

As mentioned last week, organizations are facing a burnout crisis.

A recent Gallup study suggested that as many as two thirds of employees are experiencing burnout – employees who, as a result, are less confident, less energized, more likely to call out, and more likely to be actively looking for a different job.

​The good news is that great leadership can help prevent and decrease employee burnout. Here are a few suggestions for how to support your team:

  • Provide a forum for people to share their feelings. Creating a culture where it’s okay to share is essential for employee mental health and often begins with the leader sharing first.
  • Don’t assume everything is okay just because no one has spoken up. Pay attention, check in often.
  • Start a meeting asking employees to rate how they’re doing on a scale of 1-10. The rating doesn’t necessarily matter, but this can be a tool to get dialogue started.
  • If you see someone lashing out, don’t lash back. Use it as a signal to check in later – in a genuine and sensitive way, not as a disguised reprimand.
  • Make sure your team is aware of any EAP resources available to them, without them having to ask.
  • Start or end team meetings by taking turns sharing the best and worst parts of your day, as well as something you need help with or something you’re proud of. This is another conversation starter that can help keep an open dialogue.
  • Remember leadership is not about your title, these tips are for leaders at all levels.

At the end of the day, we all want to be seen and heard, and want to feel like we have some agency in our jobs. Gallup found that employees with managers willing to listen to work-related problems are 62% less likely to be burned out. Being a leader that is willing to listen and share from your own experiences can go a long way towards decreasing the burnout of your team.

“Listen. People start to heal the moment they feel heard.” – Cheryl Richardson

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