Ways Managers Can Help Prevent Burnout In The Workplace
Burnout in the workplace is a common problem among in-house and remote workers. Burnout is not a medical diagnosis. However, it is often associated with anxiety and depression. People often believe it’s a stress management issue that can be resolved by taking better care of yourself and making time for self-care. Unfortunately, self-care and stress management techniques cannot solve the problem. They can only help the burned-out individual temporarily to feel better. But if the root cause is not resolved, you will return to burnout over and over again.
Burnout is defined as an imbalance between your job demands (aspects of your work that take consistent effort and energy) and job resources (aspects of your work that are motivational and energy giving). It is also described as a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.
Symptoms And Causes Of Burnout
Job burnout can impact your physical and mental health. It leads to poor morale and mood changes. Some of the symptoms people experience with burnout are:
- You experience “Sunday night anxiety”, where you start feeling the dread of Monday morning coming.
- You drag yourself out of bed and drag yourself to work or your office reluctantly.
- You have trouble getting started and focusing on your work
- You lack the energy to be consistently productive
- You become irritable with customers, clients, and coworkers
- You develop a cynical or critical attitude about your job
There are various reasons you or your team could be experiencing burnout in the workplace. Some of the more common reasons are:
- Work-life imbalance – When you spend too many hours working, you lack the energy to do your interests and hobbies, or spend quality time with your family. You experience burnout as a result of feeling like you are all work and no play.
- Lack of control – Situations that are out of your control, such as your job schedule and workload can cause burnout.
- Lack of resources – When you lack the resources to do your job efficiently, you may feel as if you are putting more energy into the job than usual.
- Chaotic work environment – When there is a toxic or chaotic work environment, it drains your focus and can lead to burnout and fatigue.
- Dysfunctional workplace dynamics – If you work with a colleague or manager who is intimidating, belittling, or micromanaging your work, it can lead to stress and burnout.
Managers Can Help Prevent Burnout
If you are a manager and recognize that your workplace environment may contribute to burnout in your staff, you can take steps to correct it. True burnout is not just a bad day or an attitude problem that the individual is responsible for. It’s more often caused by the work environment and the individual’s inability to correct it. This is why managers can help.
Burnout is one of the adverse effects of micromanagement and a toxic work environment. Heavy workload, performance pressure, lack of recognition, and favoritism are some of the top issues that contribute to burnout. When employees feel as if they have no control over the work they do, how they do it, and when they do it, this causes resentment and burnout, as well.
When you learn how to use heart-centered leadership to engage your workforce, you will see a positive shift in attitude and work ethic in your team. When employees feel respected by their leadership, they feel empowered to take personal responsibility and ownership of the work they do. Here are some of the ways managers can lead from the heart and help create a thriving work environment to prevent burnout:
- Show more appreciation and say “thank you” more than usual.
- Give your full attention and make eye contact when speaking with your team. Call them by name, ask them about their family, let them know that they matter to you as a human being, not just an employee.
- Listen to concerns, as well as their suggestions on ways to improve their work environment.
- Offer praise and encouragement when someone goes above and beyond their job duties, or whenever you see them making an effort to improve.
- Allow for some flexibility with the work schedule, if possible. Allow your staff to come up with their own plan on how they do their best work. Hold them accountable, but make sure what they are doing is working out for everyone.
- Offer constructive feedback in a learning focused manner and a two-way conversation. Allow them to provide their thoughts on ways they think they can improve. This puts it back on the individual instead of causing the individual to feel on the defense.
Work together with your team in a way that conveys you are here to help them and lead them with heart-centered management. They will not expect perfection from you, just as you don’t expect perfection in your staff. Learn to recognize the strengths and weaknesses of each staff member. Help them display their strengths as well as improve on their weaknesses. This is not to induce perfection, but to provide a sense of empowerment that will help alleviate burnout within your workplace.