Does your team seem tired and groggy? Are they short with each other? Have they stopped voicing concerns or talking to you, despite you having an ‘open door’ policy? Perhaps their performance has dropped, or you’re struggling to ‘connect’ with them?
If this is the case, they may be suffering from burnout.
These four simple tips will help you to support your teams and get productivity back on track.
1. Conduct a safety audit
The best working environments tend to be ‘safe’ ones, where staff feel supported and free of judgement, where responsibility and ownership is preferred over a blame culture.
Does your working environment fit the bill?
Ask your team to anonymously rate your organisation on a scale of 1-10, for the following:
I feel cared about at work
I feel safe at work
Work is fun
Everyone is treated fairly
When I succeed at something, it is recognised
I can be myself at work
I find my job interesting
My workplace takes bullying seriously
My workplace values my opinions
I know who to talk to if I have a problem
The answers will help you to identify what you can do to improve, so you can set some goals to work towards.
2. Understand each other better
At the start of a collaborative project, ask each team player to explain their role in the project and how they will contribute to the final outcome. This will give them a greater appreciation and a deeper understanding of how each role fits into the bigger picture and helps them gain a sense of purpose and unity.
3. Introduce some formal self-care
Making a conscious team commitment to wellbeing will help you to reinforce and maintain healthy, happy workers.
Ensure your staff know where to go when they need mental health support
Add some mental health documents to your organisation’s intranet
Host an internal wellbeing event to express the importance of a healthy work-life balance and self-care
Arrange a team away-day to focus on wellbeing activities, such as stress management, breathing exercises, practicing yoga or carrying out a team-building activity.
Make fruit available in the office, as opposed to biscuits or sweets. Promote a healthy lifestyle.
4. Respecting boundaries
There are simple things you can do to make the working day more pleasant for your team, including encouraging them to stretch their legs and take time away from their computers. Remind them to drink water and make it easily accessible to them by installing a water cooler.
Make sure that you clearly state and maintain your office hours. Ensure your staff are taking adequate breaks and are truly ‘switching off’ from their jobs at the end of the day. Encourage them to turn off their work phones and laptops in order to achieve a healthy work/life balance.
Busy people who multi-task cannot always give their best and may find it hard to juggle their workload whilst attending to their own needs. That’s why it’s important to reinforce personal boundaries, allowing your teams to feel in control. You can encourage them to set boundaries and expectations by using phrases like this:
Of course I can help, but I can only do it at X time
I only have five minutes to chat, I must get on with X
Can I let you know at the end of the day/week?
What do you think is the best way for me to help you?
Remember that boundary-setting not only protects your own emotional strength, but also makes it clearer to other people when you are able to support them. Sticking to boundaries is part of making a commitment to valuing oneself and preserving your performance.
By creating a work environment that recognises and respects the important of personal wellbeing, you are enabling your teams to enhance the skills they already have, allowing them the space to recharge. This creates a productive and positive environment.
Most importantly, a safe and welcoming environment will also mean they will be likely to stay with you for the long term.
So, what are you waiting for? Get started and implement an environment that focuses on wellbeing and self-care, so you can beat burnout, before it takes hold.
Want to learn more?
For further insights on how to motivate your teams, read our Leadership Essential on Inspiring.
Dr Audrey Tang is a chartered psychologist and the author of ‘The Leader’s Guide to Mindfulness’ and ‘Be A Great Manager – Now!’ She runs her own training consultancy, CLICK Training, and is resident psychologist on Sky 191’s ‘The Chrissy B Show’, the UK’s only TV programme dedicated to mental health and wellbeing.