You care about your team, wanting them to be engaged, happy and healthy. But sometimes we don’t know the best way to show that care—or even if we should do anything. And when it comes to management, the question of whether it’s okay to tell your team what they can and can’t do with their personal lives is not just one for managers: every employee has a role in creating a healthy work environment. So let’s look at seven signs of burnout that can harm a team’s harmony, and how you can help avoid creating an environment where workers feel forced into unhealthy habits, ending in employee burnout or overworking themselves because they’re scared to ask for help!
1. Having a micromanaging boss
Do you know the boss who’s constantly hovering over their team, checking in on them and making decisions for them? That’s a micromanager.
Micromanaging can lead to burnout because it means your employees feel like they don’t have autonomy. When people don’t feel like they’re making their own choices and getting credit for their actions, it causes stress and shows clear signs of burnout. It’s important that you give your team some space so that they can do their jobs well without being monitored 100% of the time by you or other members of management. Implementing smart working could be an option to give employees autonomy and flexibility in their daily tasks while ensuring productivity.
2. Managers expect their team to work excessive hours
Working long hours is a sign of dedication, but it can also be one of the signs of burnout thanks to poor management. Teams who are expected to work excessive hours are not only at risk of employee burnout and mental health issues but also less productive than their counterparts who aren’t working so hard.
It’s important that managers set limits on how many hours people are expected to work each week. And while you’re setting these limits, make sure your team understands why they’ve been imposed: time off is more valuable than money!
Managers should monitor their team’s well-being too—not just for signs of burnout but also for general happiness and satisfaction with the workplace environment. It may seem like an obvious thing for any manager to do, but there’s no harm in reinforcing this message as often as possible. For sure getting to know your people’s pulse, will help identify any signs of burnout and prevent it.
3. Teams who feel their needs are ignored
There are a lot of things you can do to boost your team’s wellness. But if you’re not careful, the opposite will happen. You might unknowingly make mistakes that send your team running for the hills, without seeing signs of burnout.
Here are some of the most common mistakes leaders make when it comes to managing their teams:
- Ignoring the needs of their team.
- Forgetting to ask how people are feeling.
- Assuming people are fine if they’re not telling you about it (and then finding out too late that they’re not okay after all).
- Not checking in with your team often enough.
4. Not setting a proper employee recognition program
Rewards are not the same as recognition. Employee recognition is a powerful tool for motivation, and when used correctly, it can be an effective way to let your team know that you’re paying attention to their hard work. However, rewards have their place too—but they should be given sparingly. If you reward your team members often enough that they start expecting a reward for everything they do well (or even just for showing up), then you run the risk of making them feel entitled or like they aren’t pulling their weight without some form of tangible compensation.
When used correctly, rewards can help motivate employees who are doing an excellent job but may need an extra push in certain areas to achieve greatness; however, at other times recognition alone will suffice as motivation and enticement enough for them to continue working at such a high level without having any additional incentive beyond being recognized as valued members of your team by management/leadership. This motivation will help prevent signs of burnout.
Remember, a not satisfied and motivated team will lead to signs of burnout to start showing up!
5. Invoking peer pressure to push people too hard
So, peer pressure is a powerful motivator. It’s something that can often help teams accomplish more than they think they can. But if you use it for the wrong reasons or in the wrong situations, peer pressure can get out of control quickly, and signs of burnout will start to rise.
One example of this is when your boss or manager starts to invoke peer pressure on you to push people too hard. This could be an actual conversation that takes place in person or via email — but either way, it’s not okay!
The best way to handle this situation is by talking with other team members and coming up with another solution together, so everyone feels heard and respected. Suppose you notice a manager isn’t listening to their team’s concerns about pushing people too hard (which happens often). In that case, you as part of the HR department must take action to end this improper behavior and prevent any more signs of burnout before it’s too late.
6. Demanding unrealistic results under any circumstances
This can be as simple as expecting your team to work late every night, or it can be more complicated. It may involve unrealistic deadlines that you’ve set for yourself and then passed on to the team, or it could involve overworking people who are already performing well. For example, if you’ve set a goal for your team in which you want them all to perform 30 hours of overtime per week but don’t give them any money for doing so (or at least not enough) or any type of reward, this is considered unreasonable expectations, letting the signs of burnout emerge. It might even end with people resigning from their positions.
7. Failing to recognize signs of stress in your team
Stress can manifest in various ways, but the most common symptoms are high blood pressure, insomnia, elevated heart rate, and an increased risk of heart disease. These symptoms are also clear signs of burnout—when a team member reaches their breaking point and experiences a major mental or physical health crisis.
Stress is often perceived as something that occurs when someone has too much to handle. However, low-level stress can be just as harmful to your team’s productivity as high-intensity stressors like heavy workloads and demanding deadlines.
According to a Harvard Business Review article about the anxiety and stress of the global workforce: “when leaders have a finger on the pulse of their employees’ wellbeing, they can identify potential hot spots, discover best practices, and validate which initiatives are actually making a difference”.
Recognizing these signs of burnout early on allows you time to manage them before they become unmanageable issues for your entire team:
- Increased fatigue due to reduced sleep quality or quantity (more than 7 hours per night).
- Exhaustion when faced with even small tasks that used to be easy before the onset of burnout.
- Exaggerated startle response (someone who jumps out of their seat at unexpected noises).
Company culture can suffer if you don't encourage a work-life balance
A strong company culture can be the difference between success and failure. But if a lack of self-care is allowed to creep into your workplace, it will eventually impact your team’s performance, giving space for signs of burnout to rise.
A supportive environment is essential for creating a healthy company culture — not just in terms of physical space but also in terms of what’s going on inside people’s heads. It’s important to create an environment where employees feel comfortable speaking up about their needs and concerns, and being able to do that starts with taking care of yourself first. When your own mental health takes priority over everything else in life, you’ll make better decisions for yourself as well as those around you — which in turn will help strengthen all aspects of your business (and relationships).
Other simple ways to avoid employee burnout
Team building activities. Another effective way to ensure that your employees feel engaged with their jobs is through team-building activities. Team building exercises give employees an opportunity to bond with each other as well as with their supervisors, leading to improved communication and better teamwork skills overall.
Games that build camaraderie among employees. Virtual games can be used as a tool to improve employee engagement and increase satisfaction with your company — all while saving money. The best way for teams to collaborate is face-to-face, but if your team is spread out across multiple locations, virtual games can provide an alternative way for teams to work together.
Use an employee feedback software
When it comes to keeping your team healthy and productive, it’s not just about their work. It’s also about what kind of culture you create as a leader and how much you value their emotional well-being. If you make it clear that you won’t let any signs of burnout appear in your company, then people will be less likely to let themselves get too exhausted or stressed out. You might also want to consider implementing some policies related to taking time off from the office (such as paid vacation days). This way employees can recharge without feeling like they’re letting anyone down!
As we mentioned before, gathering your team’s feedback constantly will help you detect signs of burnout and prevent them from getting stronger. You can do it by implementing an employee feedback software. With it, you can easily become giving feedback as a usual company process. Here is a list of the 10 Best Employee Feedback Software for 2022.
Nailted will help you gather feedback from your team by sending anonymous eNPS & pulse surveys, so you can collect honest feedback. Also, it will help you schedule and follow up on 1:1 meetings, a great opportunity to direct collect feedback from an employee. Book a demo with one of our People & Culture experts, and we’ll be happy to show you how Nailted can help you not only with collecting feedback, but also in building a healthy work culture by applying best practices on employee satisfaction, happiness, and wellness, preventing by all ends any signs of burnout.