Avoiding Burnout for You and Your Staff

Dr. Steve Kerr, former Chief Learning Officer at General Electric and Goldman Sachs once said, “If you want something to happen, you have to make people able and you have to make them want to.” Although this quote sounds beautiful and powerful, it’s not an easy thing to accomplish as a company president or CEO.

How can you quantify the happiness of an entire business and then act upon these ideals to create a motivated and productive workplace day in and day out? Unfortunately, because of how difficult this process can be, it is no surprise that many business owners and leaders find themselves facing the common signs of workplace burnout, both in themselves and their team.

However, by determining these indicators and counteracting them accordingly, you and your team can begin to feel more motivated and productive in the workplace and reap the benefits of positivity with ease.

The Common Indicators of “Workplace Burnout” & How to Counteract Them

Workplace burnout can form in many ways, including a lack of upwards growth in the company, no variety in the daily work week, an overwhelming amount of work per employee, and a boss that does not know how to delegate accordingly. Although there are many other indicators, these are some of the most prevalent burnout situations that a leader should focus on when seeing a lull in productivity and passion.

Start by analyzing your team’s daily routine and finding areas where there is clear demotivation or areas where their true selves shine through. Perhaps brainstorming sessions really motivate your team, but you only have them once in a blue moon. Maybe your team is clearly demotivated by micromanagement from one of their managers. Determine these elements in your current strategy and make adjustments accordingly. By taking into account the demotivators listed below and counteracting them, you are sure to see an increase in productivity and motivation in no time.

Related: How to Boost your Employees’ Productivity (And Morale!)


Lack of Upwards Growth

As a leader, you know that it took hard work and dedication to get where you are today. You were not simply handed this position on a silver platter, and for good reason. However, imagine what it would have felt like working as hard as you can, only to stay stagnant in the same position for years on end.

If the sheer idea of this frustrates you, then it may be time to analyze your current staff and determine who deserves to move forward in their career accordingly. By doing this you can see an immediate increase in productivity, not only from those promoted but also from those who were not, in hopes of soon being given a raise or a promotion, as well.

No Workload Variety

Perhaps you worked as hard as you did to get this position because of the income and the status. However, in many cases, the driving factor for gaining a leadership position is the freedom and variety associated with it. Being able to set your own schedule, see your visions come to life before your eyes, and experiencing something new every day are just some of the perks of being a company president or CEO.

Just remember that feeling of passion and excitement for new experiences in the workplace is something everyone feels—including your own staff. This is why giving them little variety during the work week can quickly lead to burnout and a lack of productivity.

To avoid this, try adding perks or additions to your staff’s routine that allow for creativity and new ideas. This will help balance out the regularity and give them something to look forward to every day.

Related: 4 Organization Tips for a Stress-Free Year

Excess Work with No Warning

Although time management techniques are essential for productivity in the workplace, it can often be hard to manage your time when more and more work is piled on top of you with no forewarning. As the stress sets in, so does burnout in your team, and this burnout can lead to major bottlenecks in your business strategy.

To avoid this, try to get a grasp on the current delegation process and determine who out of your team is receiving too much work and who is not. If your team is all drastically overworked, it may be time to hire more employees. However, if there are some not holding the weight of others, try to even out the workload and lift some of the stress off of the team members carrying the most responsibility.

Improper Delegation or Micromanagement

According to National Public Radio, “Micromanagement can kill motivation, employee creativity, and job satisfaction.” To any leader, this is a startling conclusion and one you should absolutely take very seriously in your own company.

If your team is being micromanaged by a manager you elected, you could easily see a massive burnout from your employees and also face a significantly lower retention rate as the years progresses likewise.

Furthermore, if your team’s management is delegating projects inefficiently, the excessive work problem shown above can quickly become the fate of some of your best and most productive team members.

To avoid this, try to get unbiased feedback from your staff about their management, watch closely how management deals with employee issues or concerns, and also take into account how they are delegating the projects that must be completed. In doing this, you can find problems and correct them before they lead to a loss in quality employees or an even worse company-wide burnout.

Although being able to counteract your team’s burnouts is one of the most vital elements of what makes a quality leader, sometimes, your own burnouts affect your team even more. By determining what to do when you feel burned out, you can not only ensure your team is motivated and productive but also ensure that you are too.

Related: Coping with Business Meeting FOMO


What to do When You, The Boss, Feel Burned Out

According to Psychology Today, entrepreneurs burn out much quicker than regular staff because there is far more on their plate and far more pressure to succeed. This includes business owners, CEOs, and company presidents.

With a certain lack of structure set in place and a need for you to envision this structure for others as well as yourself, it can often be overwhelming and stressful. Not to mention the fact that most business professionals in leadership positions often feel as though they are not doing enough to make their employees and customers satisfied accordingly.

Perhaps you’re even reading this article for that very reason. However, the first step to removing these feelings of burnout in your own life is to come to terms with the fact that feeling burned out won’t fix problems for your staff, only exacerbate them.

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Once you understand this, try developing a structure that works for you in your daily work life. Incorporate variables in your work day and try to be more active and outgoing in your company. In doing this, you can reconnect with what you love about your business, feel more motivated and passionate, and get to know your staff better.

In the end, avoiding burnout for you and your staff isn’t impossible, but it does take hard work, adjustments to your current business strategy, and a desire to find the problems and fix them before they get any worse. By using these strategies in your company, you can show the kind of determined and caring leader that you are and also increase productivity and motivation in both you and your team with ease.