Accept it or not, there is a fragile line that separates productivity and burnout, and once this line starts to get blurred, the latter tends to overshadow the former. Imagine a typical scenario in your work where you start the week on an optimistic note, have assignments designated, and plan to complete them within a particular time. However, just when you thought you had completed your tasks, you are either assigned with more work or one of your colleague’s requests you to assist with his share. You might feel that pushing your limits a bit wouldn’t be a great deal for the first few days, but once this pattern starts repeating itself, the unnerving burden compels you to hit the wall and enter burnout.
According to research, burnout is not something that people who visit their offices regularly experience. 43% of employees of both those who work remotely and in a physical office get overworked and suffer burnout. But the good news is, 59% of the employees and business leaders have stated that their organization has chalked out some protective measures to prevent burnout. While 29% of the employees still feel that their companies could be a little more empathetic towards them.
In today’s world, in the light of this ever-increasing competition capsuling us, one thing that we must strive at inculcating is empathy. Leaders must rethink empathetic leadership as it helps in safeguarding the workforce from burnout. Even though understanding has a very decisive definition itself, one must treat others in the same way he wants to be treated, but we believe it is much more. If you genuinely want to be an empathetic leader, you will have to be with others the way they are with themselves. For this, you will have to step out of your shoes, remove the thoughts of bias and privilege, actively listen to people, and take action.
- Focus on your people, not only on the sale
Often while running a company, your attention is focused on the sale that your products make and not really on the team of people who drive your customers to action. As one would think that working from home coupled with one or two off days is enough to prevent an employee from burning out, it isn’t. Besides flexible work hours, acknowledging the employees’ efforts, lending a hand of support, making them feel safe, and the like are a few things that leaders could start their journey with for being empathetic.
- Make efforts to know your workforce.
To relate to your employees’ problems and authentically solve them, you will have to make efforts to know them, their strengths and weaknesses, and their likes and dislikes. Constantly pushing someone to do things that aren’t his forte or he is meant for cannot be overlooked as encouragement. Distributing the workload based on employees’ strengths will help you meet the deadlines smoothly and keep them away from getting unbelievably exhausted. Even if you are making somebody work more than they were told about initially, ensure that appropriate compensation tops your list of priorities.
- You are making them feel psychologically safe.
Now that everyone is dealing with the pandemic’s extreme uncertainties, it would be unjustified to keep your employees on edge by reminding them they could be fired if they fail to stand real to your expectations. Needless to say, if your workers are relentlessly accepting the extra work and completing them within tight deadlines, they are doing so because they want to keep themselves and their families safe. Once you reaffirm their faith that you will do the best, you could to assist them through these testing times. Therefore, half of your job for averting burnout is done.