‘If you are responsible for a team, either as a business owner or a corporate executive, then it is absolutely crucial that you understand what to look for if your colleagues are going from being stressed out to being burnt out. This of course is harder now that so many are working from home but to have a resilient organisation, we first need to have resilient leaders and teams.
If you are not able to recognise the subtle, but important differences, then you are in the fast lane to a toxic work culture that costs you time, effort and money.
There is a difference between being stressed out and being burnt out.
I like to explain it like this.
Being stressed often involves too much – too many pressures, too many responsibilities, too many things to do, too many people to lead/look after/manage – all these things demand too much of you.
Stressed out people can still imagine that if they can get everything under control, then they’ll eventually start to feel better. Click to tweet
Burnout, on the other hand, is about not enough – feeling empty, alone, unable to perform, devoid of motivation, beyond caring.
When you’re burned out, problems seem insurmountable, everything looks bleak, and it’s difficult to muster up the energy to care about yourself – let alone do anything about it.
As a leader, the very next skill you should fine tune, is how to recognise if your number one asset – your people – are going from being stressed out to being burnt out.
The Five Warning Signs of Team Member Burnout
1. Bickering and Sarcasm:
Once your team member’s start going down the slippery slope from being stressed out to burnt out, sarcasm, bickering and office’ politics starts to rise. There is nothing worse than coming into a work environment (in-house or on-screen) where the energy and vibe is negative.
Burn-out impacts our ability to get things done in less time with less mistakes. When we can’t focus, concentrate, analyse or strategise to the best of our ability, errors occur. The impact this has on our professional reputation as well as the company’s reputation can be damaging and long-lasting.
When your team members are not coping, they will call in sick. When everything seems bleak, and it is hard to muster up any kind of positivity or enthusiasm, people will opt out of working, and the impact this has on everyone else can be overwhelming.
Have you ever looked around the office or at the faces in your zoom calls and noticed how distracted or unengaged your people are? Presenteeism is defined as individuals being physically present at work, but due to ill-health, stress, overwhelm or exhaustion, they are not functioning at their full capacity.
5. Losing staff:
Your best staff will not stay in an environment that does not put their health and wellbeing first. It’s as simple as that. When there is such a talent shortage, you need to be doing everything you can to create a work culture that attracts, enthuses and retains the most talented people within your industry.
How To Prevent (or rectify) Team Member Burnout
If you don’t recognise the signs that your team members are starting to burn out, before you know it, you could find yourself with a toxic work culture and a declining profit that becomes very hard to rectify. Click to tweet
There are two strategies that you should put in place.
- Create policies and frameworks within your workplace that allows your team members to look after themselves is the foundation of this. For example, what policy do you have about protecting your staff’s private time so they are not required to answer emails at ungodly hours? Is there an actual policy around this, or do you just expect everyone to know it and do it?
- Provide continual education for your number one asset – your people, so they know the latest results-driven approaches to keeping themselves mentally and physically well. For example, do you have a calendar of professional development courses or workshops that will motivate and inspire them to understand how stress, burnout and resilience will help them to work to the best of their ability.
Do not cross your fingers and toes and hope that your best people will cope with what’s required of them.
Be proactive and put their health and wellbeing first.
Healthy, optimistic team members lead to successful, profitable companies. Click to tweet
It’s as simple as that.