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Avoid Burnout: How to Motivate Fatigued and Stressed Employees

By hire-up in Client Resources

Chris Rogers

Regional Vice President – Mid-West

Hire Up Staffing & Healthcare Services


August 23, 2021

The World Health Organization defines burnout as “a syndrome resulting from chronic work-related stress, with symptoms characterized by ‘feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy,” (World Health Organization). If you have frequented a grocery store or medical office recently, you likely have witnessed this from some employees firsthand.  Employees who were considered essential workers and opted to report to work during the depths of the pandemic, likely experienced an increased workload, fewer resources to assist them, an increased number of work hours, and a decrease in regular and/or routine days off. While these workers likely had noble reasons for sticking with the job during this time, this type of work environment comes with a rather hefty set of negative consequences. One of which is burnout.

Perhaps you are in an industry that was unable to work during the lockdown in your area. You, too, are likely witnessing another type of burnout. Have you struggled to find willing and able candidates to employ?  Many people are tired, weary, frustrated. How can we work to overcome this overwhelming feeling of “is this all over yet?”

These tips listed below are important all the time, however, especially during trying times. Review this list and complete an honest and fair assessment for yourself. What areas can you improve upon to help make the lives of those you manage a little easier, a little more fulfilling, and a little more encouraging?

  1. Do Not Micromanage. Your employees are your greatest assets, your greatest resources. You hired them for a reason. Trust that reason. Allow them room to do their job and learn from their own experiences. In an article written for Forbes, February 2021, contributor Heidi Lynn Kurter, writes, “micromanagers are detrimental to the success of a business and the mental health of everyone involved.” Do not add to their stress by showing you do not trust their abilities.
  2. Show Flexibility. Whether it be work schedules, time off, changes in work structure or process, listen to ideas and suggestions from your team. Show you value their thoughts and needs. When your employees feel heard, they often feel valued, which offers additional benefits back to the company.
  3. Focus on Others. Your own little world can be a stressful place—don’t get stuck there. And don’t let your employees get stuck in their own little worlds either. Force them to step outside of that world and think about something else for a moment. You can do that by leading as an example. Great managers fight for their people. Show your team that you notice their stress and that you care about their wellbeing.
  4. Provide Proper Resources and Tools. Give your team what they need. Be sure your employees have all the necessary supplies and resources to do their jobs. When they ask for new equipment or tools, seriously consider their requests. If your budget will not allow it this year, think about other creative alternatives until it can be added into the budget next year.
  5. Line of Sight/Big Picture. Stress can be inevitable at work. When employees don’t see or understand why they’re putting up with the stress, it simply makes things worse. When you share the big picture, your team can understand things from a new perspective. They might also have thoughts from their initial perspective that can help enlighten yours.
  6. Sincere Compliments and Recognition. A kind word can be a very simple stress reliever. It doesn’t take much to notice the work of another. When you see something, make it a habit of saying something. Noticing something small can make the biggest difference in someone’s day.
  7. Meaningful Meetings. There is perhaps nothing more stressful than wasted time. Any meeting with an agenda that can be addressed in an email should be canceled. At all costs, avoid meeting with your employees “just to meet.” Show you value their time and yours.
  8. Clear Communication. Your employees should be able to solely focus on the job you have hired them to do. They should not have to allocate any time or effort to deciphering the messages they receive from management. If something is important, share it in person and allow for questions. If something is a reminder, or a quick and easy information share, send an email.
  9. Positive Messaging. The words you choose in the workplace play a huge role in the overall corporate culture. Happier words lead to a happier culture and happier employees. Your words are currency. You are either depositing or withdrawing. Think about the words you choose and recognize their power.
  10. Be Available for Support. Make sure to be available for questions your employees might have, be honest and avoid making promises that you can’t keep. If you don’t know the answer to a question, tell them you need some time to get the answer and then follow up with them by the end of the day.
  11. Remove Obstacles. Start by identifying any obstacles that could be hindering productivity and/or creating unneeded stress for your team and or customers. Find solutions to remove those obstacles and then celebrate the successes that come with this change.
  12. Provide an Outlet to Give and Receive Feedback. Feedback is a great way to gather important information from your team. However, if you ask for it, be prepared to do something about the information received. If you do not show actionable steps to making things right, your team will lose trust in this process and eventually stop sharing.
  13. Provide Breaks. Any good management team understands the necessity of working breaks and special events added onto a work calendar. If you are not taking advantage of some fun during the downtime, consider starting it. This is an excellent opportunity to initiate some relaxation into an otherwise stressful workday. Do something to get your team to stop what they are doing and play, relax, or laugh.

As a leader your example means everything. How you choose to respond to stress, uncertainty, good news, bad news, it’s all being observed by your team. Your very reputation in the workplace is formed based upon how you handle yourself and the decisions you make that impact those around you.

In reviewing these 13 tips above, can you identify a few that you could work to improve? Write them down. Create a goal around each one and start TODAY. Start small but make the efforts meaningful.

Need help with this? Call us. Our team of expert professionals are ready and willing to coach you through it. Employee burnout is real. However, if you, as a leader are feeling burnout, too, we can help. Allow us to help you create a plan to get you and your team performing better than ever.

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There is no doubt that 2021 will bring forth opportunities with which to leverage new and emerging employment trends. Follow the Hire Up Staffing & Healthcare Services Blog to stay connected with a variety of topics aimed to help support you! Whether you are an active job seeker looking for tips and tricks to land your perfect job or an employer looking to fill a challenging position, we are here to help you HIRE UP!

References:

Burn-out an “occupational phenomenon”: International Classification of Diseases (who.int)

4 Signs Your Boss Is a Micromanager and How to Challenge Them (forbes.com)


Chris Rogers, Regional Vice President – Mid-West | August 23, 2021

As the Regional Vice President of the Mid-West operations, Chris focuses on the mentorship and development of his Hire Up staff to ensure they are equipped to provide the best service to both our candidates and clients. Chris’ extensive knowledge of the staffing industry lays the groundwork for his teams to always deliver top-caliber talent to great organizations. His expertise includes experience in all disciplines from commercial and professional staffing to executive placement. Chris and his teams strive to improve the lives of their candidates and improve the businesses of their clients. Chris’ over 15 years in the staffing and recruitment industry includes the successful management of high-performing sales and recruiting teams throughout the Southwest. Chris would love to speak with you so he can help your business reach new heights.

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