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Beating Burnout

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Workplace wellbeing is the big buzz-word of late and something that’s been on our radar at Skills Consulting Group – an issue that we’ve been discussing with professionals spanning various sectors long before the pandemic came along. The idea of ‘burnout’ started to become mainstream almost 10 years ago, and is now readily acceptable as a real, tangible, and worrying phenomenon. 

 As people continue to navigate through late stages of the pandemic as well as pressures due inflation and the rising cost of living, it’s even more important to take burnout  seriously. Here are three great tips to revitalise exhausted leaders and teams.

Building trust to manage team stress levels

To support wellbeing in the workplace leaders need to leverage their own credibility to build trust in order to reduce stress. Model mindful working behaviours. For example, send a regular ‘good morning’ email around 9/9.30am to remind your remote team there is no need to check emails over breakfast. 

If you are back in the office, demonstrate taking a break and leaving work at a sensible time – your actions will give your team unspoken permission to engage in life outside work. Now is the time to listen – not the time to micromanage.  

Importance and urgent aren’t the same

Many leaders feel they handled the management twists and turns of the pandemic better at the start, and are struggling now. Again, this is a recognised phenomenon.  Research shows that sudden uncertainty places humans in a state of high alert, where we can access shallow reserves to help us push through. Those reserves have all been used up now, yet the crisis phase of the pandemic is still here.  

Crisis response requires some emotional rewiring, and the first step is understanding the difference between urgency and importance. In a time of crisis it is easy to push everything aside except what is most urgent. You do what is necessary, and leave the future planning for another time. But when this goes on too long it can be disconcerting.  

Excite and engage your people with important future plans and maintain credibility by nurturing a culture of trust – because there is a future, and we need to be prepared – and recharged – for it.  

Look into the future

Of course, no one has a crystal ball, but after the incredible upheaval of the past two years we are now starting to get a glimpse of the future, and that means we can make plans. 

 Start by evaluating what worked well over the past two-year period. Did you find you and your team were able to think on your feet more? Make decisions faster? Find out if people enjoyed home working and perhaps build a home working option into your new working dynamic. Organisations are identifying ways of working that can be permanent – letting go of the idea of returning to ‘business as usual’ because the pre-pandemic world no longer exists.  

Consult with your team, find out what is important to them and act on it. Give them agency and ownership as we reset a growth mindset and move forward.  

Responding to crisis. Re-energising organisations. Nurturing people. Today’s leaders shape the future we live and work in. Talk to us to find out how we can help. 

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