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Picture this: your employees are emotionally, mentally & physically exhausted. They are disengaged and feel helpless and hopeless. Your employees are burned out.
Work causes for burnout include:
Lack of clarity – If your staff aren’t clear on what is expected from them, they get frustrated and burned out. Dilbert cartoons are notorious for showing workers who aren’t clear on what they are supposed to do and how success is measured. You don’t want to be Dilbert’s pointed haired boss.
Unrealistic expectations – When an employee cannot possibly fulfil expectations, no matter how hard they work, then they are on the path to burnout. For one year I worked for two different departments in a large organization. Although each group officially had 50% of my time, their expectations of me were to deliver the same results as if I worked greater than half time for them. I worked hard for both departments - I worked overtime, I tried to be as efficient as possible. Yet, I still felt like I wasn’t delivering what was expected. It was definitely one of the reasons I left the organization shortly after.
Lack of recognition – Employees want to be appreciated for their commitment, ideas and creativity. They don’t want the false recognition – yahoo, you found the coffee machine! They want to be recognized for doing above and beyond normal expectations. According to Aubrey Daniels, repeated studies show that the workplace is the least likely place for employees to receive a thank you.
Lack of challenge – Robert was creative at solving corrosion issues, but his boss liked to micromanage everything Robert did. Robert realized quickly that his boss had a set idea of what he wanted done, and Robert’s contributions were not appreciated. When he wasn’t allowed to use his creativity, Robert wasn’t challenged and began to withdraw. His boss was disappointed that Robert didn’t meet the expectations had for him.
Great leaders know the four main causes of burnout. They also ensure that their leadership doesn’t contribute to their staff heading down the “burnout trail.”
To lessen burnout great leaders:
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
They set clear expectations for the team and individual team members.
They are open to questions and feedback.
They talk to their employees so that expectations are realistic – that level where staff are challenged, but not overextended.
They make sure their people have the skills & tools they need to do their jobs.
They remove barriers blocking team members from doing their jobs.
They recognize individual and team contributions.
Want to keep your best employees? Click on: The Secret to Keeping your Best Employees
Want to be a better leader? Contact me Valerie.MacLeod@HainesCentre.com
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