Addressing Burnout is a Leader’s Job
As a leader, you should focus more of your energy on your employees and what the fallout of burnout is doing to your organization.
Businesses and organizations everywhere are struggling with burnout and the impact it has their employees. However, it’s not an individual’s problem to solve – addressing burnout begins with and is a responsibility of leadership, writes executive coach Elisabeth Hayes SmartBrief.
“…it’s not enough to assume that changes made by an individual will 'fix' burnout at your company. It will never be enough unless and until we, as leaders, look at how we operate. Let’s be honest with ourselves: today’s always-on culture is taking a toll on us and our teams,” writes Hayes.
Not only is burnout bad for the individual, but burnout is bad for your organization. Employees who are experiencing burnout are not efficient, not motivated and disengaged. Staff leave and the distribution of work grows and employee morale tanks, writes Hayes.
It’s easy to recognize the signs of burnout, but do you know how to address this overwhelming feeling with your team? Hayes offers three ways to begin to institute an “anti-burnout culture.”
Rethink your one-on-one meetings. Not only are these meetings vital for you and your employees, it may be time to rethink the format of them. Instead of status check-ins, use this time to make a connection.
“Use the time to pause, reflect, strengthen rapport and re-energize. Use your one-on-ones to coach, share ideas, give feedback and talk about career development,” Hayes writes.
Reassess your meeting behavior. Meetings are necessary and when they are meaningful, allow us to collaborate and learn how to work with our colleagues. But they take time, and at their worst are a waste of time and energy. Now’s the time to evaluate your meetings, the regular ones and the one-offs.
“Which of your recurring meetings have run their course and are no longer serving their initial purpose? Is everyone invited essentially? What meetings could be shortened?,” asks Hayes. “I love the idea that many organizations have adopted of making 60-minute meetings 50. And 30-minute meetings go to 25.”
Give your team room to think. Whether it’s instituting a day of no meetings or encouraging time blocking for work on projects, you and your employees need time to do uninterrupted thinking. As a leader, you set the tone, and it’s on you and your leadership team to make the change.
“We need to create an environment where people are taking care of themselves and their colleagues. An environment that offers the tools and resources to lead and work effectively,” Hayes explains. “We need a culture that keeps our people engaged and bringing their best selves to work. A culture that values recognition, gratitude, and uninterrupted time for deep work. Where employee engagement is high and turnover is low.”