As a manager, you think you’ve won the lottery when you have yourself a high-performing great team. You’ve got the right mix of people so theoretically, they should be able to thrive on your team and at the company, right? Wrong. Just because you have top performers doesn’t mean they will necessarily thrive. You need to give them the right environment so they thrive and want to stay at your company. That is, you want to prevent them from burning out.
Employee burnout is a common problem for companies and teams who employ top performing employees. And the effects can be disastrous if it comes to fruition. It can lower your team productivity, create interpersonal conflicts, and sometimes even cause you to lose some talent. In fact, according to a recent study, 20-50 percent of employee turnover is due to burnout.
So how can you tell if an employee is on the verge of feeling burnt out? Some obvious signs are exhaustion, disengaged from their work, and a drop in performance. Another sign is a lack in communication; if your employee isn’t speaking up like they normally do, it’s time to step back and re-evaluate the situation.
Here are a few tactics that you can use to help fight employee burnout, creating an environment for your employees to thrive in.
Have an open-door policy
As a manager, make it a priority for your employees to know they can come to your office and talk to you. By keeping communication channels open, you can be more aware if something is off with them. This gives employees the feeling that they can be open with their managers, bringing up any concerns they may feel throughout the day. This can be concerned about a project they are working on, their workload, or maybe a conflict with another employee. Whatever the case may be, make sure that you enable your employees to speak up if anything is on their mind. You will be able to nip the problem in the bud before it escalates.
Give them what they need to thrive
For employees, this can be a number of areas. Are they in the right role for their skill set? Do they like the role they are in? Do they have a proper workspace? The answer to all of these questions contributes to employee performance. If you are concerned that this might be the issue contributing to your employee’s burnout, meet with them to see what can be fixed. Maybe setting aside some budget for some training will do the trick, or maybe you need to help them move departments. While some fixes are easier than others, they are worth considering for the livelihood of your employees. See what you can do as a manager to better the working environment for your employees to help them reach their full potential.
Be clear on their roles
Not everyone on a team should be responsible for everything. Let alone, letting one person have multiple areas of responsibility that might overwhelm them. This can create frustration for employees, which can lead to burnout. To solve this, give everyone on a team clear, defined roles and responsibilities, and do your best to balance them out. While you may have a good employee who can do all the roles and responsibilities, chances are they will get burned out if they become the team’s “go to” person. This will cause them to make mistakes and not be able to focus on the other work that they have on their plate. So when assigning job duties, make sure the balance is fair so everyone has enough to do without having so much they get burnt out.
Provide constant feedback
Employees want to hear what they’ve done good and bad. They want to hear the praises and the criticisms, so as a manager, it’s your job to provide that. Most employees just want to feel as if they are making a difference in their role and within the company. For the sake of employees, share feedback that you may have or that other colleagues may have about them or a project they worked on. One small compliment can skyrocket an employee’s confidence, which can increase their productivity. On the other hand, criticism, though it can be harsh, can help an employee improve in their role, preparing them for the next step in their careers.
Let them be a part of the decision-making process
Nothing makes an employee feel cared for more than letting them be a part of a large decision. This can be a software purchase, implementing team processes, and more. Most of the time, employees have great insights and perspectives to share that can positively help the decision-making process. Chances are, the employees are going to be the ones affected by any changes, so what better than to get their opinion from the get-go? This will help employees feel ownership in the process and feel like they contributed to changes in the organization. Letting them be part of the process can help to increase morale, which can help prevent burnout later on.
Oftentimes, employee burnout is easier to prevent than to fix. As a manager, give your employees the tools they need to succeed while making them feel like they are a valuable part of the team. You would be surprised how far these tactics can go in helping to retain your employees.