Articles // October 26,2022

How Organizations Should Address Burnout- A Simple Guide For Employees and Leaders

By Meenakshi Girish , Editor - Kavitha Chandrasekhar

Did you know that burnout has been a rapidly progressing global epidemic on its own? The WHO in 2019 had classified burnout in its International Classification of Diseases as an occupational phenomenon. The pandemic has only accelerated the organizational challenges to employee well-being especially with more focus on mental health.

Organizations are taking diverse measures to keep their employees physically and emotionally fit.  And yet, the rates of burnout and the percentage of employees coping with stress are at an all-time high!

Irrespective of whether the job demands long hours of work or not, employees are stressed, exhausted, and neglecting their health. While some have caregivers at home, others need to balance their health and job simultaneously – often resulting in jobs getting prioritized over health.

This is where good leadership comes into play. Adopting the right management styles and the best practices to stay in contact with your employees is vital to know how they are doing. It will help you prevent employee burnout while also staying in a healthy mental space yourself.

The fact is that everybody faces burnout and pressure. You might be a fresher wishing to prove yourself and work extra hours. You might be a senior leader who wishes to retain your hard-earned reputation. You might be very enthusiastic to work but do not recognize how much pressure you are subjecting your body to.

What are symptoms of burnout?

Burnout can be witnessed in various ways by different people. Some common telltale signs include:

  • You are no longer excited by things that used to make you happy
  • You notice a lack of energy and enthusiasm
  • You find it hard to focus and concentrate on the tasks at hand
  • You get frequent headaches you cannot explain
  • You can feel physical pains in pressure points
  • You are dissatisfied and feel it is never enough no matter how much you do
  • You get irritated over trivial matters which is not in your nature
  • You notice insomnia and an inability to sleep peacefully at night
  • You feel a lack of connection with the team or your family

One of the best ways to notice these symptoms is to stay in touch with your employees even when there is no meeting scheduled. Talk to them simply to know how they are doing – not to get a status update or for some professional reason. Try to ask them how they are doing and observe their responses and body language for the above signs.

And while we are on the topic of noticing the signs, there are more ways for turning into better leaders. Let us take a deep dive into some ways managers and leaders can keep their teams active and in a good state of mental health.

Frequent touchpoints with your team

It is of paramount importance that managers build a culture of compassion that drives the team and stay in touch with their employees frequently. According to Sripriyaa Venkataraman, Founder and Leadership and Executive Coach at Global Coaching Lab, certain norms need to be set in place in the company.

“Establish some norms in your team or within your organization for everybody to express their feelings. Ensuring that there is a law of compassion, kindness, and empathy built into people and their engagements so that they can put in the same level of work but in a non-threatened manner.”

This is indeed important as it can help you and your employees know each other on a personal level and know when someone is struggling. If someone feels overwhelmed, they can trust the team to listen to them with an unjudgmental ear. As managers, you must note that they do not feel intimidated to approach you. You can always ask them to open about their lives by stating yours.

Being proactive and encourage off days

Encourage open communication in the team and proactively ensure that everybody follows it. “My manager implemented something called the ‘open door policy.’ It gave us space to enter his cabin at any moment and share our grievances or suggestions. There have been countless moments when I have entered and shared what is on my mind and asked for a reduction in workload. He always welcomed me and made it a safe space to share my thoughts,” said Kirti, an employee at a reputed banking firm in Chennai.

It is important to make holidays and breaks the norm. Strictly discourage employees from working during the weekend or after office hours. Take short breaks to set an example and show your employees they are permitted to do the same. It will help the team get rid of the always-available mindset and take time to unwind.

It works to relieve stress and improve your productivity by taking a short break or getting up to stretch your muscles. Permit yourself and your employees to relax and head out for casual lunch breaks or coffee breaks. It will help you and the team stay creative and mentally active without stressing themselves out. If they are unable to take breaks due to excessive workloads, it is a sign for you to reallocate the work.

Reward and recognize your employees

If you notice your employees losing focus, the best way to get them on track is to give them something to work towards. If they are constantly asking, “What’s the point of even doing this??” – this is the ideal time to tell them, “This is why. Because you will get three days off on paid leave if you manage to crack this project.”

This incentive model has worked wonders for many companies and continues to help employees stay in the game. They feel recognized and accomplished – giving them a purpose to stay in the team. Celebrate employee accomplishments in the way that they prefer it.

“Our HR team never promises any rewards for the staff. They simply mention the reward criteria and we are open to fixing our rewards. They let us know their desired budget and we can decide if we want an Amazon gift card, one month of free Netflix membership, or a team lunch outing. It is our choice on how we wish to celebrate our success sponsored by the office,” said an employee at a well-known digital marketing agency in Bengaluru.

Be transparent and keep your promises

Can you believe that almost 44% of employees quit their jobs because their managers do not keep up their promises? They are promised incentives and salary increments but fail to receive any updates once the task is complete.

This calls for a need to be transparent and let your employees know off the bat what is possible and what the team can afford. It is pointless to make promises you cannot keep and disappoint your employees. Another 42% of employees tend to quit due to their managers constantly overworking them.

In such cases, it helps to be open and honest with your team. Let them know which tasks are due when and what the consequences are if they fail to deliver. It will help the team prioritize their tasks better and get the job done without stress and overwork.

Summing up

Give your team the resources and breathing room to get things done. Be transparent and permit them to take breaks provided it keeps them creative and productive. Most employees face burnout due to constant neglect of their health. To combat this, stay in touch with them and support their endeavors.

Compensate them well for their contributions and incentivize them to go on. Promote a healthy culture of compassion and empathy to keep everyone on track while also getting the work done on time. A good leader knows how to treat each of his employees and manage different people differently. At the end of the day, the team needs to make their work meaningful and find a purpose to work.

Yes, the business needs to grow, and a lot of change needs to be welcomed. But some people tend to feel overwhelmed while coping with change and adapting to new circumstances. Keep your team on the same page and make everyone feel heard and respected at every stage of the change.

Give your team regular feedback and welcome constructive criticism from them. Ensure that everyone is positive and energetic to get work done. Encourage friendly competition and avoid making people feel unrecognized or unappreciated. There must be clarity and compassion in every move your team makes.

Want to learn more about rising to the occasion and ensuring your team does not face burnout? At the same time, you can learn to focus on yourself and avoid getting burned out yourself. Click here to center your leadership holistically and systematically become a role model for your team.

Leave a Reply

Translate Insights into your Coaching and Leadership initatives Get Started >>>

×
×

In my career leading and building high-performing teams, I enjoy inspiring & coaching employees to unlock their potential for maximum performance. The team's success is my deepest delight. Global Coaching Lab provides the platform to put this into practice every day and fulfill my passion of making others great.




          How are you bridging your gap between your leadership potential and your life purpose?

          The VUCA* world today demands a different set of skills for leaders to navigate and thrive. It is our belief that a holistic, interconnected and a multi-perspective approach is necessary now, for leaders to discover and develop a broader set of skills, competencies and behaviours needed to navigate a fast-changing environment. When this new approach is aided by expert facilitation, the potential for blended learning, and opportunities for peer coaching; the possibilities for positive change in leaders are multiplied.
          *VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous)

          Leaders are now discovering that their knowledge and skills that enabled them to become leaders, are no longer sufficient to address the complex challenges facing them today and in the future. Leaders need more knowledge, better skills, and more effective behaviours that can transform their leadership for the 21st century.

          You will enter this workshop with your Leadership Challenge clearly defined – this will help you keep your challenge at the centre, while you leverage the various perspectives, to discover possibilities through

          • Physical Perspective
          • Managerial Perspective
          • Psychological Perspective
          • Political Perspective
          • Cultural Perspective
          • Spiritual Perspective

          To connect the dots, you will engage in a meaningful powerful activity that will help you translate your insights into commitment for action.

          Through the medium of dance and music, you will learn to discover and unleash the Archetypes within you – these are the hidden powers and emotions that exist within all of us, that we call upon at will, to achieve more.

          DOWNLOAD BROCHURE

          Amplifying your Voice, Empowering your Identity and Discovering your Purpose

          In today’s VUCA world, the successful and smart enterprises are those that leverage the power of diversity to drive innovation. The least common denominator for diversity and paradoxically its greatest common multiplier is gender diversity. There is so much untapped potential that women professionals possess - organizations that can invest into increasing and empowering their diverse talent, are the ones that are poised to secure their future.

          It is our belief that women hold tremendous potential. We believe that with the right knowledge, skills, and resources any woman can become her best. Our VIP Women engagement is an investment for every woman to attain her true potential.

          DOWNLOAD BROCHURE

          Your leadership is about securing your future by Prioritising, Synthesising, and Sequencing the present.
          Recent events have taught us that,

          • Caring for the planet yields greater results in the longer term
          • Embracing technology accelerates ability to innovate
          • Collaborating with ecosystem maximises chances to thrive
          • People and their Productivity get multiplied in an environment of sustainability and technology within the ecosystem

          Our view of the future of Leadership is STEP:

          • S – Sustainable Leadership
          • T – Technology Leadership
          • E – Ecosystem Leadership
          • P – People Leadership

          STEP is a Leadership Development approach that is holistic, interconnected, and comprehensive, so that leaders can unleash their Unlimited Potential. ‘Future Proof’ your leaders and thereby your organization.
          If you are a leader with an urge to accelerate growth within your organization, then this program is for you. Leaders who have been transformed through their experiences with us, tell us about their joys of discovery, about newer possibilities of thinking, emoting, and acting that is helping them achieve more for themselves, their teams, and their organization.