When it comes to burnout, managers should see themselves less as firefighters who only step in when the fire is already in full swing, but should instead assume the role of fire prevention officers. In other words, they should manage their teams in such a way that fire hazards are identified and prevented in advance. When it comes to preventing burnout, the following points can prove helpful:
How much do I strive for perfection?
The pursuit of perfection is one of the most common causes of burnout. As a manager, people look up to you as a role model, which is why critical self-analysis is essential: what expectations do you place on yourself when it comes to getting a job done? At what point are you content? Where might you be able to turn a blind eye? If you always expect more than 100 per cent from yourself, you can bet your bottom dollar that your employees will follow suit and try to emulate this perfectionism, thus running the risk of getting burnt out in the process.
Burnout prevention means regularly negotiating with your inner driver for the good of yourself and your team. Learn the difference between “important”, “urgent”, “essential” and “contingent”, “good” and “superb”. Allow yourself moments of calm and show this to the outside world by consciously taking breaks more often or introducing team rituals like sitting down to enjoy lunch together.
Interpersonal skills are playing an ever more important role in the prevention of burnout. Employees don’t just see their job as a mere source of income – it’s also an important part of their lives; after all, they do spend many hours of their lives there. The workplace is a place where people “live”. It’s a place where successes and failures are shared, conflicts are resolved, friendships are forged, and people grieve, quarrel and rejoice. As a manager, it’s important that you get to know your employees so that you can develop an understanding of what makes them tick and support them in a targeted way. That’s why it’s a good idea to also have meaningful discussions with your colleagues about their private lives. Lending a sympathetic ear to employees, allowing them to confide in you about a whole host of issues while protecting their privacy leads to a solid relationship of trust. And that helps you to identify earlier on when someone in your team is feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, worn out or frustrated.
The sooner you, as a manager, make decisions and communicate these clearly to your team, the less your employees run the risk of being overloaded with work.
Unpleasant news also needs to be communicated clearly and addressed openly. If your team constantly has the feeling that something is wrong, then worries and anxiety start to creep in and people begin to make assumptions and interpretations. Not only does this use up energy, it also results in valuable working time being lost. That’s why you should give critical feedback in a benevolent and appreciative way, whilst also clearly communicating the consequences of a lack of improvement in performance.
Identify burnout more quickly. Our counsellors at Mavie will be happy to assist you by providing management coaching on the topics of overburdening, stress management and psychological problems at work. If you would like to organise a presentation or workshop on the topic of burnout prevention at your company, please contact Gabriele Haupt at email@example.com or click on the button below.