Every company faces team burnout from time to time. And, it’s not something that will pass on its own. As a manager, it’s your responsibility to pay attention to your team members, pick up on the signs, and find ways to help them navigate through to get back on track. Fortunately, there are some effective and easy strategies you can implement to help prevent and reduce the effects of burnout. We’ve put together a list that’ll help boost your team and improve both happiness and productivity at work.
They’re not just employees, they’re people. Empower team leads and project managers to check in on their team members before there seems like a reason to. Even the most experienced employee on your team may need an occasional wellness check. Touch-base with employees individually and ask how things are going. A simple personal message works great and include an open invitation to a Zoom chat. Seeing someone face-to-face is important and a simple smile over the camera can brighten someone’s day. Not every employee will reply with a lengthy response, but all will appreciate your looking out.
Create avenues to connect in non-work related ways. Create a Basecamp or Slack channel where employees can share the latest book they’re reading or a podcast they’re listening to. Create a dog-to-work challenge and invite team members to post a pic with their dog (or cat, or iguana) each week. Create a Spotify playlist and ask your employees to throw in their favorite songs. Host a virtual happy hour or morning coffee. Throw out exercise challenges such as a walking or squat challenge. And yes, let’s’ talk about food. Since we’re quarantined and can’t enjoy an in-person team lunch or dinner, AND because we’re are all cooking from home more, invite one team member to pick a dinner recipe each week. Everyone loves to eat, but not everyone likes to come up with the dinner plan. Message the group with the recipe and voilà: your family will be pleasantly surprised you made something outside of your boring 5 go-to dishes. It’s a win-win-win!
Share that Success Already
Include employees on your big wins. At least one good thing happens each week (or find ways to come up with a win each week). Whether it’s getting a contract signed with a new client, hitting a major milestone on a project or simply making it through a challenging week, EVERY company has good news to share. Sharing this type of news with your team members when it happens reminds them they are contributing to success. According to research by Gallup: “People do not just go to work for a paycheck; they want to find meaning in what they do.” By sharing success stories, team members feel purpose and are driven to do great things.
People don’t just go to work for a paycheck; they want to find meaning in what they do.
Ask a member from one department to brainstorm with a team member from a different department–one with whom they might never work with. Why would your paid media specialist assigned to Client A ever collaborate with your graphic designer assigned to Client B? Not much in common, but perhaps a lot to learn. When team members approach an issue from differing POVs, sometimes the outcome is a more original and meaningful solution than with the obvious personnel. If nothing else, your team members will have the chance to learn about another colleague, which fosters understanding and further bonds your team.
When we’re post-pandemic and we’re able to un-distance, invite the team into the office (or remote office) to get together to do anything but work. Allow employees to use resources to work on their personal projects with no rules as to what that looks like. Invite team members to share or teach the group about a new discovery that has nothing to do with work, such as a new use for an old product or a life-hack. Don’t enforce rules–this day should be completely unscripted and open-ended. Whether team members decide to participate or not, everyone likes to learn something new.
Let’s get to the Point ?:
The attention span of the average human is decreasing–some studies report it’s decreased from 12 seconds in 2000 to 8.25 seconds in 2015, which, is less than a goldfish. Ok, in all honestly we couldn’t find any legitimate study to back this up. And, who even knows if a goldfish has an attention span? Either way, if you are here at the recap, you are either incredibly thorough OR you want the goldfish version:
- Employees are people first: Check in on them from time to time and not only after you see a red flag.
- Connect in easy non-work related ways: Music, food and dogs keep us going. Let’s share those things that make us happy.
- People work for more than a paycheck: Share those WINS, both big and small.
- Encourage collaboration across the company: This aids both in team bonding and brings unique solutions to the table.
- Create space for things beyond work: Invite employees to share space for personal projects and passions outside of work.