Avoiding Burnout at Work



Even people that work in great high-performing teams can sometimes experience excessive stress and burnout. Burnout is about mental and physical exhaustion, caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.

As you look at your team, check whether you have seen any of these signs.

  • People claim they feel little control over their work, or that their work is not being recognised
  • People talk about work loads and work pressure
  • Employees seem tired all the time
  • You have sensed an increased level of procrastination
  • People complain more

These could mean your team is experiencing burnout. If you do not act now and it sets in, the negative effects will affect your employees' work life, and eventually, their personal lives too.

But it is not a lost battle. There are things you can do to help your team.

  1. Start talking: ask your team members about how they feel and pay attention to what they say with both their words and body language. Have genuine conversations regularly. You can use your 1:1 meetings for these.

  2. Slow down a little now: otherwise you will be risking being forced to slow down a lot later when the team hits its breaking point. Review the team’s objectives and re-prioritise if possible.

  3. Provide support and resources: help the team to stay connected, share good news and keep people in the loop. Remember to thank everyone for their work. In terms of resources, consider ways to ease off, make the office a fun place to work, and help them become more efficient by adopting new tools and techniques, reviewing tedious procedures and simplifying workflows.

Anything you do will hugely help. Your job as a leader is to push everyone to new heights, but without causing unnecessary burnout. Hopefully these tips will give your team the boost it deserves.