April 11, 2023

7 tips for leading a burned-out team

The two most repeated words in the field of human resources in recent years are resilience and stress. Stress or burnout is quite common at work. So much so that two-thirds of full-time employees experience stress at work, being a phenomenon that affects employees of all roles and sectors, not just people in high-level positions.

Undoubtedly, what affects us personally has repercussions at work -and vice versa!- so we must worry about our team so that they are as relieved as possible: because only then can they carry out their tasks and, of course, because The foundation of any organization is the human side, and we must take care of it!

How do you lead when your whole team is burned out?

1. Find the cause

For an action to be a good decision, you must first find the root of the team's stress. Yes, there are many possible causes and many factors that contribute to people burning out: workload, bad leadership, lack of communication, ignorance of functions (own and others), personal situations... Get to the origin to be able to offer the best solutions. How can you achieve it? Talking to every person on your team. Thus, in addition to identifying the root of the problem, you will demonstrate empathy and commitment.

2. More questions and fewer assumptions

It is very common to approach an employee assuming that we already know what the problem is. Not at all! Your goal is to create an open space in which your team feels comfortable talking to you, don't steer the conversation where you consider it, it will be like sweeping it under the rug.

If you perceive that it is difficult for them to start the conversation, start with empathic questions: What is overwhelming you the most at the moment? What changes could we make to the organization or workload to reduce stress? How can we leaders and colleagues help reduce stress in the team? Is there a personal issue that might be contributing to you feeling this way?

Each person is unique, so the answers to these questions will vary greatly. It is essential to have open communication and encourage a trusting environment so that team members feel comfortable sharing their concerns.

3. Protect your time

How many times have you asked for things to be done right now? And for yesterday? How many of those things have turned out not to be so urgent? If someone approaches to see if your team can take on a project, say no. In addition, also teach your team to know how to say no if they are overloaded with work. beware! This may mean that you too will be told no, and that's okay! We all need to be able to prioritize our tasks in order to finish each one excellently. Stop piling things on top of your team's desk if they are not urgent. In order for your team to know how to prioritize, you first have to know how to do it yourself, as well as give them autonomy to plan.

If you or your organization spend your days putting out fires, there is an organizational, task distribution or planning problem, and that is important to review!

4. Allow them to organize their schedules

As long as their type of tasks make it possible, allow your team to set their hours. Only they know when they are most productive and motivated. Allowing them to have more flexible hours gives them the time and space to address their personal needs.

In cases where the schedule needs to be rigid, try to be more understanding of your team's schedules by allowing them to skip a meeting for a doctor's appointment or leave work early to pick up your child at school or to take your kitty to the vet, we all have life beyond work!

5. Encourage feedback

How long has it been since you met in time with each person on your team to give them feedback? And no, we are not referring to something rushed in the middle of a meeting about KPIs or other topics. We are talking about elaborated feedback, with acknowledgment, with examples and supporting data.

Even if stress is not rooted in a lack of communication, not talking to your team will never help them to be better. Unless the problem is leadership, next point!

6. Know the work environment of the organization

The work environment plays a decisive role in our health, in the health of the organization and in the satisfaction of our entire team. Thanks to the climate reviews 100% confidential labor law such as those of HRider, employees can evaluate the organization objectively and honestly.

In addition, you can evaluate aspects such as leadership, measuring, for example, indicators related to trust and the relationship with the supervisor. It will be very useful to know if team managers know how to delegate, if they give effective feedback and if they empower their team or if, on the contrary, they are the cause of the team being so burned out.

7. Empathize with their personal situation

If the root of the problem is a personal problem, empathize with their situation, do not judge them and try to give them the tools and resources available so that they can cope as well as possible both at work and outside of it.

And if you think it is more a problem of demotivation than stress, we give you more information about motivation here.

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