4 helpful ways managers can help burnout employees – News Couple
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4 helpful ways managers can help burnout employees


By Deborah Sweeney

Are your employees fatigued? “Burnout” is how one study describes the way employees feel 18 months after the pandemic.

Since July 2020, digital health company meQuilibrium has been tracking the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on employee well-being through a series of surveys. Between July 20210 and December 2020, meQuilibrium reported that employees “experienced significant increases in burnout, work-life balance challenges, as well as work and health stresses.” These challenges also negatively affected employee health with an increase in physical symptoms of stress, such as soreness in the neck and shoulders.

Moreover, there is a decrease in employees’ sense of support by their employers. In July 2020 and December 2020, meQuilibrium noted that the majority of employees felt the support of their employer. By July 2021, the number of employees who reported feeling supported in the workplace had decreased by about 10%. This lack of support, or simply a lack of sense of support, likely led to increased employee burnout or stress.

What can you do to support team members who are experiencing burnout and enhance employee well-being in the workplace? While burnout varies from person to person, there are certain beneficial ways in which managers can step in and provide assistance.

1. Create a safe space

One of the first steps to fighting fatigue is to spot the early signs of fatigue. After noticing signs of burnout, managers and employees can work together to address any issues causing burnout and take control of the situation.

What if a team member doesn’t feel comfortable talking about burnout at work? Some workplaces have strict rules as there is not much room for personal discussion in the office, especially covering sensitive topics.

Sincerely interested managers can create a safe space outside the office to meet with team members. A safe environment allows those experiencing burnout to feel more comfortable opening up, sharing their feelings, and expressing their feelings.

Ask your team member where he or she feels comfortable talking. You can meet face to face at the cafe or go for a walk together in the park.

2. Be an empathetic listener

The best tool for helping employees experiencing burnout is to practice empathic listening. As an empathetic listener, you:

  • patient. A team member may take some time to share their story with you and that’s okay.
  • Present. You are currently with this person and are not thinking about unrelated topics.
  • non-judgmental. You are not here to blame, shame, or downplay a team member’s feelings.

Also, do not use this time to give unsolicited advice or criticize the team member.

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3. Ask strange questions

While the team members explain their situation, use this time to listen and think about the questions to ask next. These questions must be rooted in a pleasant curiosity.

For example, you might ask if the team member was able to remember a time in the past when they felt this way, and then follow up with the question by asking how they got past it. Asking these types of questions helps team members remember the challenging moments throughout their careers. They may remember the strategies they used to rise to the occasion and the sense of confidence that came with completing certain tasks or projects.

However, keep in mind that fatigue is not found in a one-size-fits-all box. While one team member may remember a time when he was able to take on a challenge and deliver incredible work, others may not have had similar experiences. A helpful strategy for someone who has trouble dealing with a workload, for example, might be to offer some temporary flexibility to ensure that the team member is able to meet goals and deadlines.

4. Sharing ideas to support resources together

According to McKinsey & Company, listening to team members and exploring creative solutions can help employees with burnout. However, only managers can do so much in terms of providing support to struggling team members.

Take the time to brainstorm ways to support together. Where else can team members find support? It may be helpful for them to see a therapist, or to spend time with family or close friends.

Similarly, you can also share ideas about self-care activities with team members. Focus evenly on needs And Wants. Some ideas might include getting a sleep schedule, eating balanced meals, taking a break from social media, and starting to practice gratitude.

There is no quick fix to fatigue

Fighting fatigue doesn’t end with a quick fix. There is no evidence for this growing problem in the workplace, leaving many companies scrambling to find ways to improve the work experiences of employees. Experimentation plays a key role, as companies test different programs and policies to see what works and what doesn’t.

Following these steps serves as a way to show employees that they are not alone. Once you have a better understanding of what the team member needs, you can gently move them toward getting and receiving the needed help and reaching recovery.

About the author

Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com, which provides registration services for incorporation and limited liability companies to entrepreneurs. See Deborah’s articles and full bio at AllBusiness.com.

Related: 5 Effective Ways to Prevent Salesperson Stress

This article was originally published AllBusiness.com.



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