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Help Prevent Burnout on Your Team

2017.04.24 14:57


Burnout is rarely an individual phenomenon; fixing and preventing it requires leadership.
You can help your team thrive by implementing the following advice. 

WATCH FOR WARNING SIGNS 

 The signs of burnout are obvious in some people but subtle in others. Keep an eye out for tiredness, lack of focus, depressed mood, hostility, and expressions of hopelessness.
 Regularly check in with team members to gauge their physical, cognitive, and emotional energy levels. 

SET LIMITS ON WORKLOADS 

 Talk to your team about its collective capacity, and ensure that assignments and deadlines don’t exceed it.
 Shield your team from external pressures, including unreasonable or unclear client and management demands. 

INSIST ON RENEWAL 

Communicate that optimal performance depends on rest and renewal. Encourage people to set sensible limits on work hours.
 Set an example by keeping reasonable hours yourself.
 Make sure your team members take their full vacation time. 

BOOST CONTROL 

Clarify expectations; grant flexibility on where, when, and how people get work done.
Advocate for the resources your team needs to perform.
Create uninterrupted time for people to make progress on important tasks. 

MAKE RECOGNITION MEANINGFUL 

Regularly highlight wins and successes, even small ones.
Recognize and reward people for helping others.
Note the positive impact of your team’s work on others. 

EMPHASIZE LEARNING 

Routinely ask team members about their development goals and what resources are required to achieve them.
Share what you’re learning and how you’re doing it. 

FACILITATE MUTUAL SUPPORT 

Talk regularly about progress toward team goals.
At team meetings, ask what assistance people need and can offer one another.
Be open about asking for and giving support. 

BUILD COMMUNITY 

Don’t tolerate incivility on your team. Set an example for respectful, compassionate behavior toward others.
Encourage people to share what’s happening in their lives outside of work.
 

- 100 Harvard Business Review November 2016 

 
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