No employee is immune to burnout—not even your “A” players—and especially not during trying times. As an employer, you may sometimes notice that the employees who are always on their game have been reaching a point of exhaustion. Some employees may even seem bored with their work and like they are craving something new.
If your top performers need a little extra motivation, try these tips recommended by the members of Young Entrepreneur Council. Below, nine of them give their best advice to employers who want to reverse team burnout and get their staff back on track.
1. Re-Engage Their Interest
I believe that it is important to keep employees engaged and interested. It is also crucial that employees keep a healthy work-life balance. Getting the employee back on track could be as simple as giving them a few surprise days off or it might be worth evaluating their current job role and working with them to find roles or tasks that are more rewarding for them. – Kelly Kercher, K3 Technology
2. Touch Base Frequently
I think it is really important to touch base with employees and managers to make sure they are feeling adequately challenged and like they are growing. Projects that help expand their knowledge and keep them mentally stimulated are the best way to keep a valuable employee from burning out. At the same time, employees need to feel adequately supported and compensated for new projects, so keep that in mind before adding to their workload. – Sheila Nazarian, Nazarian Plastic Surgery
3. Guide Them Out Of Negative Self-Talk
Burnout is often less about being tired and more about a feeling of not having control over your life—as if work is just piling up and nothing is working in your favor. To deliver strong performance, people need to feel good about themselves and not succumb to self-defeating negative thoughts. Whenever I see this happening, I focus on guiding them to break out of this vicious cycle by changing their perspective or even by allowing them more choice on their next task. To recover, people must regain the sense that they are always the ones determining what goes on in their lives. Other than that, of course, a well-deserved vacation or more rest may be in order. – Bogdan Gecic, Gecic Law
4. Assess Tasks Together
Sit down with your “A” employee and discuss what tasks are life-giving for them, which are manageable and which are completely draining them. Assess the tasks that are draining them and see if you could easily delegate them to someone else on the team who would find those tasks enjoyable. “Delegate to elevate” is not only a saying for people who are high up in the company who have problems with handling every task; it is also for your employees who are really good at what they do but might be in the wrong seat for some tasks that have been delegated to them. – Ismael Wrixen, FE International
5. Create Organizational Changes
Encourage them to take a personal day. In addition to telling them to take time off, you could even look into making an organizational change for them in their office space or even in their daily tasks. Look into what’s crucial that they keep working on for your company, and for the smaller things, consider hiring someone to help, whether it’s part time or full time. The goal isn’t to over-hire, but to hire in such a way that you continue to have a lean team where every role is a building block to your company’s success. This will give the burned-out employee a fresh change so they can start helping accomplish new larger projects and can grow and learn. Lastly, don’t forget to note and recognize their efforts. Thank them for all they do, and if this constitutes a raise, then make that happen. – John Rampton, Calendar
6. Get Them Involved
No matter how big your business is, a family feeling will make your employees always want to stand up for you and will make them feel part of it. When my employees are tired or I feel they are disengaged, I ask them more for their opinions and I try to make them think outside of the box and involve them, as a family would do. The result is always positive as I trust my employees in their individual capabilities to know their respective field. You can write an email asking them for their feedback, set up a call or an in-person meeting where you go through specifics together. They will feel appreciated and important, as they should. Without your employees, your company does not succeed. A family succeeds when everyone plays their role in it and feels part of it. Make it a family. – Simonetta Lein, Ausonia Partners
7. Address Concerns And Create A Plan
When you notice that something is off with an employee, the first approach is to always address it and understand why. Then, with the employee, create a plan of action. It could be to make sure they go on leave or simply remove some of the overwhelming tasks. Sometimes it is as simple as having them partner up with another colleague in the projects they are working on. Sometimes it can be more serious, but every organization should always want the best for their employees and always take these red flags very seriously. There is often a lot of valuable information that might be missed by a manager in these situations. – Saana Azzam, MENA Speakers
8. Ask Thought-Provoking Questions
People burn out for many reasons. Stagnating at a project they’re working on, solving problems below their skill and talent level, doing work that doesn’t excite them, working in roles they don’t fit in well enough, poor salaries, personal problems, poor health—it goes on and on. Figuring out that your team or employee is burned out can be tricky in itself because, most times, the employee doesn’t link their symptoms to the root cause—which is burnout. They may be unmotivated or prickly and stagnate or drop off in their performance levels. This is the same case with employers who assume they know why their employees are burned out and then execute solutions that don’t work. To find the trigger, start with communication where you listen and ask thought-provoking questions. – Samuel Thimothy, OneIMS
9. Decrease The Pressure
Remember your team members all have lives outside of work and your business is not their baby—it’s yours. Business owners often struggle to keep this at the forefront of their approach when working with their staff, which can be disastrous for everyone. It can breed resentment and cause business owners to put too much pressure on their teams. When burnout has happened in our team, we aim to reconnect with our staff with the aim to reset everyone’s humanity gauge so it’s pointing in the right direction. We encourage team social time along with reminding them to make use of their PTO if possible. Be mindful and aware of whether your team is dragging so you’re ready to jump in to help where you can. – Emily Stallings, Casely, Inc.