Preventing Employee Stress and Burnout Part Two

In my last blog, I wrote about my personal feelings of burnout, and about how important recognizing burnout can be. This time, I’m going to be discussing burnout from a supervisor’s perspective, and why having the right managerial attitude can help your employees avoid burnout altogether.

I’d been working with my team for a little over six months on a project which was as enriching as it was terrifying. We were doing important work for a company that had hired us for our expertise, and we were delivering our best work. However, little warning signs began to manifest, and I knew exactly what was happening before my employees did. So, I did a little research, and built a strategy to help employees deal with burnout.

  1. Overworked Employees Aren’t as Efficient
    Despite what many in tech would have you believe, overworked employees simply don’t get as much accomplished. Not only that, but they can easily become resentful—if not hostile—toward management. Taking the time to acknowledge an employee’s workload and offering a break can make all the difference when it comes to building a healthy team.
  2. Underpaid Employees Burnout Faster
    I can already hear the catcalls from the folks who write the checks but bear with me. Keeping an eye on the bottom line is one thing but paying employees a lower than industry standard wage is going to make them more likely to become frustrated, and more likely to experience feelings of hopelessness. Pay your people right and watch them flourish.
  3. Employees Experiencing Burnout Lose Confidence Quickly
    The people who work for me are artists in addition to being coding wizards, and it can be very easily for an artist to lose confidence when they’re feeling burnt out. My team needs to be confident in order to succeed, and it’s my job to keep them properly motivated toward our shared goals.
  4. Get in the Trenches
    We’ve all had the boss who expected everything but was never willing to get their hands dirty. Don’t be that person! Instead, get on the floor with your team and show them you’re willing to put in the work too. By being directly involved in their day-to-day work, you’re showing your people you understand the nuts and bolts of their jobs—and you’re not above doing it yourself.
  5. Listen and Respond
    It would be easy to ignore employee burnout, but as someone in management it is your job to keep an eye on the well-being of your employees. You don’t need to be a spy, but you do need to be empathetic and in a position to reach out, if required.

Dealing with burnout as a supervisor means having an empathetic ear to the needs of your employees and having a tacit understanding of what they need. Good managers are the ones who facilitate their people to complete projects within spec and on time, but with a team that is excited to move onto the next task once the work is done. By listening to the needs of your people and by reacting to them, you are much more likely to succeed—and so is your organization.

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