A guest post by Noah Rue
Burnout has been a concern in the workplace for years now. The issue is bad enough that, when asked, nearly half of employees (44%) claimed to feel burned out at least some of the time, while nearly a quarter (23%) reported that they felt burned out very often if not always.
And that was before the pandemic. On top of everything else, if you toss the holidays into the mix, the end of 2020 is promising to be an overwhelming and deeply challenging time of year for millions of hard-working individuals.
If you’re a business owner, a project manager, or a boss of any kind, here are a few tips and suggestions to help you successfully navigate your team through the busy months ahead.
Doing your research has been an essential survival tactic for any entrepreneur in this unprecedentedly unique year. While the concept typically applies to things like studying your industry and competitors, it’s also important to take the time to look into things that can threaten your team’s stability and productivity — including burnout. Feeling burned out is often connected to things like:
- Oversized and unmanageable workloads.
- Failure to understand proper roles, responsibilities, and expectations.
- Both actual and perceived unfair treatment.
- Short deadlines and an inability to manage time.
- A general failure of vertical communication and support between managers and their staff.
As a leader, if you can go into the holiday season with these considerations in mind, it will be easier to identify and avoid causes of burnout before they can take root.
Encourage Wellness in the Workplace
Promoting wellness in the workplace is an essential aspect of a healthy, functioning team. This is especially true if your team is working remotely on their own work-from-home isolated islands.
Whether you’re working remotely or not, though, leadership should demonstrate the importance of physical, mental, and emotional health at work, especially during the busy holiday season. A few suggestions for ways that you can do this include:
- Maintaining a flexible approach to schedules and workloads.
- Practicing active listening and vetting your employees for ways that you can help them with their health.
- Encouraging the practice of regularly taking breaks throughout the workday.
- If you’re working in an office, create a stress-free workspace with good vibes through things like proper lighting and greenery.
- Simply showing your staff respect and an understanding that their personal lives are also a priority.
If you can manage to set a tone of workplace wellness as you head into the holidays, your employees will be less likely to feel overwhelmed. This will help them both be more productive while working and be able to unplug when they’re not.
Lead the Way
Finally, if you want your team to feel liberated to unplug, take breaks, and generally avoid employee burnout over the holiday season, it’s important that you, as the boss, also demonstrate how to do so. A manager who can’t detach from work is only going to add an unnecessary layer of stress and expectations to already exhausted employees — just ask Ebenezer Scrooge.
As an antidote to this possibility, actively embrace activities that help you avoid burnout during the holiday season. These should apply to both your professional and personal lives and can include:
- Setting realistic expectations.
- Postponing work that isn’t time-sensitive.
- Maintaining boundaries, both at work and in your family gatherings.
- Keeping up the structure of your daily routines.
By proactively striving to avoid burnout, you can inspire your team to do so as well.
Helping Your Employees This Holiday Season
2020 has been an overwhelming year. From a pandemic to an election and everything in between, the challenges facing current employees can feel like a tremendous burden.
As a leader, you set the tone for your company’s holiday season. Demonstrate a firm understanding of what burnout is and show your employees how both you and they can take steps to counteract it. If you can do this, your entire company will be able to benefit from a peaceful, productive end of the year.