We all hear about stress and burnout nowadays with people constantly trading their ideas on increasing their productivity, managing their time better and setting better work/life boundaries, yet mental health issues are on the rise with feelings of personal failure being one of the key problems.
Is it that we all need to be more responsible or are other factors at play? Of course, personal responsibility plays its part, but it is just one factor and not necessarily the one which affects your team most.
As a good manager, you have an obligation to protect your teams from burning out on the job, whilst you juggle corporate needs, so what can you do?
We, at Ei World, believe there are a number of ‘burnout’ risk factors you should be taking into consideration:
A lack of transparency can devastate a teams’ morale and wellbeing, but how do you balance being open and transparent with the need for some decisions to be taken behind closed doors? Relevant information sharing can go a long way. Having clear conversations about the changing workplace or the changing workforce without leaving room for speculation, can build trust and ensure negative gossip is kept to a minimum. One tip is to invite an employee representative to attend the relevant parts of your executive meetings or sit on your management team so that you can hear their views, and they can hear your needs and solutions. Be clear about the decisions they and the wider team members genuinely can have a say in, and those they cannot.
Too much change, too quickly:
Many of us dislike big changes, yet today’s organisations are constantly changing and adapting their ways for working. That is why their ideal employee is often someone who can adapt, think flexibly and embrace change and challenge.
However, it is likely that your team will have a mix of personalities, some of whom embrace change, some who are tenacious but will want the best outcome, and others who really struggle with changes. Be aware of your team’s personalities and their emotional resilience. Try to work with them accordingly. Understanding how emotions affect performance will be a great start.
Be cautious about what changes you make and when – are they necessary, can you plan them to cause the least concern, or can they wait? Be clear about your end goal and your timelines. Try to be thoughtful about how much change you are introducing at once and be sure to think through how you can support the emotional, mental and physical wellbeing of your team.
What you do not want is a stressed-out team that feels undervalued by lack of communication, which then becomes ineffective and starts to burn out.
Your team is only as strong as the most stressed-out member!
Treating everyone the same:
People handle change and uncertainty in different ways, but as you work through a changing environment, there is a real risk of assuming that everyone is managing on the same level, particularly if you are stressed as well.
We often refer to people on the edge of burnout as being the employee who is frazzled, irritated and more vocal than normal. However, it could be that your most stressed team member is the one who is working the hardest or not speaking up at all. They can feel the most isolated and unsupported. They will not be sharing their thoughts or confiding in other team members, so emotionally are likely to be far more exhausted, and emotional exhaustion leads to burnout.
So, how can you help? Timely and clear communication with a decent sprinkling of emotional intelligence is a great combination if you are looking to preserve your team.
Developing your own emotional intelligence and increasing your presence within the team are key attributes you should look to develop.
Our team at Ei World are world-leaders in improving people performance through the power of emotional intelligence and emotional resilience. We run a number of programmes throughout the year for leaders and their teams, through webinars and workshops.
Our workshop ‘Emotional Resilience for High Performance’ is a group coaching session which will help you deal with the stresses and strains of the changing team environment.
What you will learn:
- You will learn about emotional resilience in the context of performing at our best, how to channel the level of chaos, stress and turbulence that many people now consider to be ‘normal’ at work.
- You will learn how to identify and reflect upon the priority components of emotional resilience to sustain your individual focus to perform at your best.
- You will learn how to announce to colleagues at least one concrete action from this learning experience on emotional resilience, something you plan to do differently to help deal with the changing context of your organisation.