The greatest problem with overcoming burnout lies in the fact that you might not even realize it’s taking place until it’s too late. Imagine a scenario, just one year ago, you and your team completed a project that was twice as hard and required three times as many hours and no one felt overworked, yet, today, just one week into a project, there are some clear indications that your staff can’t take it anymore. Why did this happen now and not a year ago?
Well, it depends on several factors. For instance, the break between the last two projects might have been shorter than recommended. The volume of the work, the nature of tasks or the composition of your team might have been different as well. Either way, it’s time for you to do something about it as soon as possible. Here are four options that you have available.
1. Increase the frequency of breaks
One of the reasons why the Pomodoro technique is gaining so much popularity is due to the fact that it gives one a unique organizational scheme of work. The employee in question works for about 25 minutes and then takes a 5-minute break. This repeats itself four times, which is then followed by a 15-minute break. In this way, you’re allowing everyone to stay at the peak of their productivity 100 percent of the time while keeping their work schedule intensive as well. Due to the fact that there are four activity switches within a single hour, they’re bound to stay energized for much longer.
2. Talk to your employees about the project
The next thing that’s incredibly important is that your employees realize just how important the work they’re performing is. This isn’t a technique that’s supposed to trick them into working harder; in fact, it isn’t a trick at all. You’re merely having a conversation where you reveal the full importance of the work they’re doing. The work on their hands will be twice as hard if they don’t see the point in the tasks; if they don’t see the big picture. As an employer, it’s your job to show them where the puzzle piece they’re in charge of fits into the bigger picture.
3. Gifts instead of bonuses
While it’s clear from the very start that these two things are not interchangeable, there’s a reason why you might want to create a smaller gift section in your bonus pool. You see, a bonus is something that each of your employees earns for their hard work. It’s something they consider rightfully theirs once they receive it, even if they didn’t expect it from the start. On the other hand, a trip abroad and a well-timed prepaid card in Hong Kong will be perceived in a completely different light. In other words, while you’ve invested the same amount of resources, you get to boost corporate loyalty as well as increase the morale.
4. A smarter delegation of tasks
As an employer, it is logical to entrust the most demanding of tasks to the most capable of your employees. Unfortunately, this leads to a small fraction of your workforce doing the majority of the work. In fact, according to Price’s law, this is already the case, so why further support or even endorse this kind of behavior? Instead, make a schedule and even cut some of the more challenging tasks into several parts, just so that no one can complain of being left out or deliberately overworked. Also, keep in mind that more responsibilities and more work should imply some sort of a reward.
Overcoming burnout is not a complex matter; however, it does require you to do at least several things you’ve neglected in the past. To sum it up, you need to create a work schedule that includes more breaks, try to financially invest in a morale boost, improve your communication and rethink your delegation of workload. These four simple tricks should be more than enough to get you through this rough patch.