4 Ways to Respond to Burnout

Leadership must continue to make burnout prevention and mitigation a priority.
It is not employees’ responsibility alone to protect themselves.
The long-term effects of burnout culture hurt them, the business, and the economy
in lost productivity and innovation more than the temporary short-term benefits.  

In addition to providing mental health support and more time off,
here are 4 things that help mitigate the damage of burnout. 

  • Communication - Check in with your individual team members regularly,
    not just in team meetings but in a private setting. 

    Relay any actionable items in an email, even if you’ve already discussed them. 

          Brains are not able to absorb as much or as quickly when they are burnt out. 
          Don’t have the same expectations of consistency of comprehension as you did pre-burnout.  

  • Flexibility - Giving people choices and autonomy is especially important in times of stress.
    They've been hired to do a job; allow them to decide when and how best to do it.

    Freedom is the opposite of burnout. 
  • Protection - Notice who always say yes. 
    Notice who you are most likely to have do extra work. 
    Notice who is the most innovative thinker. 

    Your most dependable, hardworking, and creative team members need you to recognize
    when they’ve been given more than they can handle, especially when they don’t speak up. 
    It's your job to protect them.
  • Modeling - You can’t expect your team to prioritize burnout recovery if you aren’t doing it yourself. 
    When it comes to taking days off, practicing radical self-care, setting and keeping boundaries,
    and having work/life balance, are you setting the example you want them to follow? 

    Actions have always spoken louder than words.

The events of 2020 and 2021 have had a significant effect on mental health 
and have exposed burnout culture for what it is,
a significant long-term drain on emotional and physical well-being.

Manage expectations and realize that it will take awhile to recover.
Leadership must exercise extreme empathy in the meantime.


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