BURNOUT – Like a Fog Leaders NAVIGATE their people through!

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Burnout is a real symptom of real problems in today’s workplace.  It is not something that necessarily makes itself known to everyone around…. rather, it creeps in like a slow fog, easy to miss what it is doing…until it is all around you, and difficult to navigate through.

A recent Gallup pole found that over 70% of employees are feeling or have felt burned out.  Not the kind of burnout where you just “need a break” …. rather, a real, chronic feeling of frustration, exhaustion, and defeat.  The staggering data from this survey speaks to the bigger problem – BURNOUT IS CONTAGIOUS, AND SPREADS WITHOUT A SECOND THOUGHT!

So, what can Leadership do?

As one of the leading experts in Leadership and Leadership Coaching, PK Solutions Group has these 5 tips to help Leaders identify and head off burnout before it happens, and better yet, before it spreads through the organization:

  1.  REMEMBER YOU ARE ALWAYS IN THE PEOPLE BUSINESS:  At the end of every business process is a person.  Having a solid relationship with them is important.  Leaders need to learn about their employees and be willing to share about themselves with employees.  Being relatable, approachable, and sincere goes a long way toward alleviating potential burnout. 
  2. WATCH FOR CHANGES IN BEHAVIOR:  Changes in behavior, of any kind, are great indicators of employee burnout.  Where the mind and mood have gone….so goes the body.  Something as simple as an employee who normally is in the office by 7:30am every day, suddenly arriving at 8:00am.  This could be nothing but someone running late but could be something bigger going on in that employee’s life.  How nice to be noticed, not as a reprimand of not being in at 7:30am, but as “I noticed your pattern changed….is everything okay in your world?”
  3. PLACE EMPLOYEES IN POSTIONS THAT MATCH THEIR STRENGTHS:  When employees work with what they are strong at doing, they will find a way to naturally excel and find comfort…. comfort is on the opposite side of the room as BURNOUT.  Also, when employees are working in areas, they are strong at, they are at their happiest…again, happiness doesn’t even go to the same parties as BURNOUT. 
  4. CREATE AN ENVIRONMENT OF TRANSPARENCY:  In other words, it has to be okay for EVERYONE to speak up and say, “I’m feeling burned out”, and then be responded to as a cared about individual.  Leaders create environment, environment creates culture, and culture creates or tears down community.  Leadership has to model transparency, and then reward it when it happens in the workplace.
  5. PROVIDE FEEDBACK & RECOGNITION:  Specific, Timely, and Meaningful are key to feedback and recognition.  You’ll know that the first time as a leader, you provide vague, or insincere feedback, or recognize something meaningless.  Employees are the people at the end of this process, and they want sincerity, and they want the praise.  Praise publicly, with specificity and sincerity…. reprimand privately, with clear, concise input.  Feedback and Recognition are for both positive and negative behavior…. Just one is shared with the entire organization, and one is private.  This is more important in today’s remote work environment.

These tips, and more are crucial to limiting the effects of BURNOUT in the workplace.  It is important to have proper coaching from an outside expert such as PK SOLUTIONS GROUP, as sometimes leaders can be too close to the situation to act and correct objectively.

For more information on addressing your own organization’s burnout, please consider PK SOLUTIONS GROUP as a resource to help your greatest asset…. your people.

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