By: Kim Derry, Highrise Networks
At the start of the year, it is common to be filled with ambition and optimism for a successful year ahead. You look at the trends, set your company’s goals, and start making plans to tackle the tasks coming up. Being busy with a full plate brings excitement and the promise of new opportunities, but it can also be overwhelming and exhausting as you step back into the same challenges day after day. By the end of the first quarter that excitement may begin to give way to burnout.
Beating the burnout bug is a challenge for many professionals that can create many obstacles within your business. Start the second Quarter with a renewed commitment to your goals and take intentional steps to alleviate the feeling of burnout creeping in. Check out six helpful tips and tricks for addressing burnout – from determining what tasks to focus your energy on to intentionally networking and connecting with like-minded peers.
1. Audit Your Expectations and Energy
Take a moment to consider your goals and get really clear on what you are doing and why. Think about your time and the expectations you have in place for yourself and your team. It is essential that your expectations align with the amount of energy you have available to put into a specific area. If your expectations and your energy do not align, you must find a way to shift the expectations to avoid making you and your team feel as if you are coming up short.
2. Find Your Joy
What do you absolutely love about your work? If you cannot quickly answer this question, it might be time to dive a little deeper and reconnect with the things you enjoy within your work. The ability to carve out a career that you love is part of living a meaningful, fulfilled life that makes you want to roll up your sleeves and get to work every day. Once you identify what brings you enjoyment in your work, it is important to create space within your day-to-day activities to do these things regularly. The same is true for the members of your team.
3. Connect with Like-Minded Peers
When facing the risk of burnout, it is important to connect and network with like-minded professionals. They will be an invaluable resource for you as you work your way through the fog and help you gain clarity for the rest of the year. Networking and connecting with others will allow you to seek advice, learn from others’ experiences, and create a safe space to share the challenges you are facing and get the honest feedback you need to work through them. Networking with others will also allow you to refuel and refocus.
4. Team Temperature Checks
Checking in regularly with yourself and your employees to assess feelings of burnout is another great strategy. Make sure you have a basic understanding of what is going well for your business and your employees, what opportunities for improvement are available, and if any new ideas are bubbling up. This will allow you to proactively engage in preventing the risk of burnout. Knowing the temperature of yourself and your team will also allow you to make informed management decisions that will support positive company culture.
5. Establish and Maintain Boundaries
Having clear boundaries for yourself and your team will also add to a positive culture that helps prevent burnout. It is critical that employees (including you) do not feel like they are “always on,” which quickly leads to strong feelings of resentment at work and puts your business at risk for potential burnout. Avoid this by establishing boundaries, role modeling them, and ensuring all employees have a clear understanding of what is expected.
6. Encourage Healthy Habits
The Harvard Business Review estimates the healthcare industry spends $125 billion to $190 billion due to workplace burnout. And according to Gallup, employees that burn out are 63% more likely to take sick days. Developing a workplace culture that values healthy habits and provides space for employees to engage in healthy habits is another great strategy to combat burnout.
Unfortunately, feelings of burnout have only heightened throughout the pandemic. According to a survey from the Harvard Business Review, 89% of workers said their work-life was getting worse, 52% said their job demands had increased, and 57% said that the pandemic had either had a large impact on their job or totally dominated it. As leaders, it is crucial to step into this challenge intentionally and not ignore it. Leadership in this area is critical to the success of leaders, their employees, and the overall company culture.