There is a big difference between having a bad day at work and getting burned out. When you have a bad day, the solution is usually to eat a good meal, relax, and get a full night of sleep. When you’re burned out, the solution is usually to quit the company quickly and compulsively and rethink the career path you’ve chosen. For that reason, any manager who wants to avoid workforce disruptions and keep quality talent in the loop needs to be proactive about preventing burnout. Here are a few tips that work:

  • Encourage Downtime – Some IT pros go months or even years without taking time off. Their commitment is admirable but unsustainable. Watch out for employees who spend too much time in the office and shoo them out when necessary.
  • Be Realistic – Do you really know how much work your team is putting in? If you have set expectations too high or made deadlines too short, you’ve created a lot of stress for your team and made a frustrating failure a lot more likely.
  • Eliminate Obstacles – You may be creating obstacles for your team without even realizing it. This only makes their job harder and creates an antagonistic relationship between you and your staff.
  • Staff Differently – When you are understaffed, your team is unavoidably overworked. You may need to add permanent staff, but another option is working with contract employees. They can quickly fill a role, pick up the slack, and then exit your organization without hurting employee morale.
  • Act With Empathy – The issues that lead to burnout can come from both inside and outside the office. Rather than being quick to scold and reprimand, remember that your team is made up of real people with complex lives. A little bit of empathy can be a huge comfort to someone going through a difficult time.
  • Get Flexible – Does your whole team really need to spend 40+ hours a week inside the office? Offering flex scheduling and work-from-home opportunities empowers team members to create a better balance between work and life.
  • Communicate Clearly – Your team looks to you to provide information and offer guidance. If you are unavailable, confusing, unclear, or erratic, you’re only doing your team a disservice. Problems with burnout are often the direct consequence of an ineffective management style.
  • Offer a Reprieve – Going to the office doesn’t have to be only about work. Make a real effort to inject some fun into the workplace and shake up the traditional workday. A meal, outing, or happy hour can do a lot to reinvigorate an overworked team.

Regardless of whether the issues with burnout get better or worse one thing is clear – you need to change the way you build and manage your workforce. Find the resources you need to do things better by working with RennerBrown.

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