Team burnout can be challenging to deal with
Team burnout can be challenging to deal with

What we see over and over is that HR leaders care about their people. If they didn’t, they probably wouldn’t be in the role they’re in. What we also see is that many HR leaders can see, hear, and feel their teams burning out and are feeling under-equipped to handle it. Team burnout has been highly relevant in many workplaces as COVID-related stress has been piling on.  Many HR leaders are reporting that despite their efforts, burnout is continuing to spread. Teams are disconnected, stressed, and less motivated; burnout is a serious concern.

In addition to the extra stress people are bringing to work, leaders have their own stressors to deal with related to family, health, and the rest of their lives outside of work.

So, if you are working in HR, what can you do about it?

If your team is currently feeling stressed or disconnected, or you are worried about team burnout, and you want to help them- this post is for you.

In this post, we will share 3 important stress phrases that can help you help your team feel better without exerting more effort.

As a bonus, if you’re like most of us and your own mental health has been challenged over these last 2 years, these phrases are going to help you heal, too.

What does a Team Burnout look like?

One of the first signs of burnout is decreased energy and motivation. This might look like staff are no longer excited to be at work and you can feel it in the air. Work performance declines. Without resolving the stressors, the ability to manage the stress and regulate emotions starts to decline – which means people are quicker to anger and negativity. It can take more effort to get back to positivity- and that can start to impact the people around them.  This can create a negative snowball, which can be very stressful to observe on your colleagues and team.

Read Also: Symptoms of Workplace Anxiety and How to Address Them?

How to Help Your Team With Burnout?

Here’s a quick overview of three stress and wellness phrases that can help you deal with team burnout:

1. Team Burnout Phrase One: Self-care isn’t Selfish

One way to feel better when stressed is to help others- it feels good, and it’s noble. However, it does not replace long-term strategies for taking care of yourself: managing your relationships (family and friends) and your health (exercise and diet). Research has shown that people are less likely to engage in self-care when their mental health starts to decline due to increased stress.

This is compounded by an underlying belief that putting yourself first is selfish. Sure, sometimes putting the needs of others first feels good and is a requirement for a fun, healthy working environment. When you do it consistently, and it becomes your excuse to neglect your own needs, when you know you need it -it can start to negatively affect energy, happiness, and confidence.

Remind your team members that self-care is NOT selfish, and do it often! We can feel conflicted by the idea that taking care of others is a priority and that focusing on one’s self-care is not directly beneficial to the organization.  Self-care actually helps everyone around us and helps us to be more productive.

Help them with this, and they will know you care about them. That will help them care about themselves. That will help them get back to loving where they work.

2. Team Burnout Phrase Two: You’re not Lazy

The initial stress we’re facing right now is already challenging, but for many of us, we carry additional stress as guilt for not taking better care of ourselves. We know we should exercise more, eat better, and sleep better. Maybe start meditating and spend more time with our family and our friends… how long has it been since we’ve relaxed with our friends and caught up?  Guilt and shame about what we are not doing can pile up and add to our negative thinking about ourselves.

“I’m so lazy; I can’t even make it to the gym,” “I’m disgusting; look at the way I’m eating.”

Remind your team members that they’re not lazy. Help them understand that they are going through challenging times and ANYONE would feel stressed. It’s normal.  And our responses to that stress often do not include prioritizing self-care.  Once they feel heard and understood (and that you care), then you can work on a solution together, starting with phrase 3.

3. Team Burnout Phrase 3: You Make a Difference

Have you noticed that some of your employees may seem immune  to your efforts to support them?  Like no matter how much support you give they don’t seem to feel any better or even appreciate it?  When team burnout starts taking hold, motivation and innovation decrease. One way to explain this is through expectancy theory.  We need to believe our effort matters to help motivate us to keep doing what we do.  There are three things we need to know to believe our effort matters:

We need to know:

  • What to do (clear steps)
  • Where I want to go (clear goals)
  • If I can do it (confidence)

You can help by reminding your team that they DO make a difference. You can go further by helping them recognize the things they are doing well (even if they aren’t meeting all job requirements). This will help increase their confidence and motivation. With increased confidence and motivation, they’ll be more interested in talking about how to improve. When they start working on improving in this context, and you help them recognize their progress, they’re going to feel more confident and motivated. This is the positive snowball effect– the kind that benefits everybody involved.

Keep Your Team Always Motivated

Team burnout is challenging.  It can be demoralizing to someone (like you) who cares so much about their team. Focusing on using 3 short wellness phrases representing psychological shifts can make a huge difference for them and you. To always keep your team motivated, Work to Wellness’s Workplace burnout workshop can be game-changing for your employees. Not only do we help them deal with burnout, but we also make them more motivated and productive with mental wellness workshops for employees.

Check out our workplace burnout workshop and contact us today to set up your employees.