Conquer Stress and Burnout with Your Team

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Employee holding up a help signWellness and well-being in the workplace are on trend, and it’s about time! We all have had or at least overheard conversations far too often about stress and anxiety in the workplace. Overflowing inboxes, growing to-do lists, and deadline pressures leave employees feeling overwhelmed and overworked. This can lead to burnout, and it affects your team and your organization. Thus, fixing and preventing burnout is something for which leadership should take part ownership.

How do you help employees learn to manage the stress that can cause burnout?  Some long-term solutions could be one or all of the following:

Types of Well Being Programs

  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Wellness initiatives, or Financial and well-being programs
  • Flexible work arrangements
  • Paid leave programs such as parental leave and unlimited time off

Many organizations already offer these types of programs either in-house or as part of a well-being program.  How confident are you that your employees know that these programs and resources exist? It’s important that employees not only are aware of these programs, but also understand how to access them.  Simply mentioning resources and programs during employees’ new hire orientation is not enough.  Be sure to share regular detailed reminders about the importance of employees’ wellness and point out the related benefits.  Supportive management, coupled with good benefit programs, can help to create a stress-free work environment.

Find Out What We Can Do!

The above programs are great, and ideal for long-term improvement for the entire organization.  Here are some quick tips and guidance for managers to provide their team to help manage daily stress and prevent burnout:

  • Be on the lookout for warning signs of burnout. Check in with team members regularly to assess or have temperature checks.  Key indicators of burnout include exhaustion, lack of focus, consistent unhappy mood, hostility, or hopelessness.  Ask for their feedback, and listen carefully.
  • Set limits on their workloads. Ensure that assignments don’t reach maximum capacity.  Safeguard your team from unreasonable or unclear demands from external clients and/or management.
  • Relinquish some control. Grant flexibility on how people get work done but be clear about expectations. Allow for and encourage them to switch things up as it relates to work tasks.
  • Encourage, exemplify, and reemphasize wellness and well-being initiatives of the organization. Be informed and aware of the wellness benefits offered. Host walking meetings with your team to get out of the office. Cheer them on or give personal (appropriate) examples of your self-care activities. Volunteer together or plan team building activities together.
  • Enforce community and mutual support within your team. Talk about team goals. Be open in giving support and asking what assistance your team members need. Do this in one-on-one meetings as well as team meetings.  Don’t tolerate incivility.

How your team feels impacts productivity, engagement, and even the bottom line of the organization. Take the necessary steps to reduce workplace stress and watch morale and productivity soar!

Image:  Andriy Popov