Burnout is on the rise, with 77% of working professionals saying they have experienced employee burnout at their current job. More burnout means a drop in employee engagement and productivity, and with staff members resigning in droves, it’s becoming difficult for companies to retain their top talent. So, how can organizations support their employees and prevent burnout?
Change starts at the top, with leaders having a significant impact on company culture and the prevalence of workplace burnout. To combat this widespread issue, leaders must develop the right skills, supporting and empowering those around them to avoid excess stress and exhaustion. Below are six leadership skills required to mitigate burnout and help employees thrive.
What Is Burnout?
The World Health Organization categorizes burnout as an “occupational phenomenon”. It is defined as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. Common signs of burnout include:
- Feeling drained or exhausted
- Feeling helpless, trapped, or defeated
- Having a negative outlook on one’s job
- Feeling detached
- Procrastination and taking longer to complete tasks
- Feeling overwhelmed.
Leadership Skills That Help Prevent Burnout
Empathetic leaders connect with their teams and are more likely to recognize signs of burnout. With empathy, leaders can ensure the emotional needs of employees are met and that support is provided to those who need it. Demonstrating empathy as a leader means having a genuine interest in the well-being of others and being aware of their thoughts and feelings. It also means being conscious of one’s actions and behaving in a positive and impactful way.
Resilient leaders thrive in the face of adversity. When difficult situations arise, they have the confidence to manage them and maintain a positive mindset. This measured response to challenges sets an excellent example to employees and ensures that teams work in a positive environment.
Self-awareness is a critical leadership skill to prevent burnout. Self-aware leaders are committed to self-improvement, stay connected to their thoughts and feelings, and relate more easily to their teams. They’re also open to feedback, which helps them continuously strive to better themselves and bring out the best in others.
Focused leaders act intentionally and work on what matters most. They can delegate effectively, keep track of important tasks, and clarify what needs to be done to team members. This makes the workplace better organized and less stressful for everyone.
When there’s a great deal of change within a business, it’s easy for employees to become stressed and at risk of burnout. Adaptable leaders can calm the storm by constantly learning from new challenges and providing clarity and purpose to their teams.
- Commitment to Inclusivity
Another key way leaders can address burnout is to ensure a culture of togetherness. Inclusive leaders build diverse teams where employees feel safe to be themselves and are encouraged to support one another. This gives staff members a whole community they can turn to for help or advice, preventing them from bearing the pressure alone.
How Can Leaders Develop These Skills?
Leaders hoping to prevent burnout within their teams should look to the conscious leadership model, which encourages the development of all the above skills and helps leaders become their best selves.
Through conscious leadership development, leaders gain the knowledge and awareness to lead themselves and their teams, helping them to continuously grow, work sustainably and thrive in the modern workplace.