How can you avoid burnout among your co-workers?
If you need a good reason to tackle the topic of burnout, here are two for starters: it is not only to do with the person, but the organization, and it tends to spread within groups of colleagues. Time to take action!
In this podcast, Adam Grant starts by breaking down a much-ingrained preconception: burnout has nothing to do with workload. Burnout is triggered by a professional environment in which there is a constant feeling of job insecurity and instability; or you are under great pressure to succeed and mistakes are simply not tolerated; or you are kept on a permanent state of alert because of new technologies and their constant interruptions (instant messages and project management tool alerts for instance).
So, make yourself:
- Make the global impact of your colleague’s work visible to help them find meaning in their work;
- Make the work environment a place where failure is allowed;
- Limit sources of interruptions and encourage periods of solid work. Ask yourself this question: “Is this email/message going to help my colleague do their work?” and act accordingly!
- Develop a support culture between peers: the kitchenette is a great place for colleagues to let off steam together;
- Make progress visible on a daily basis, however modest it might be.
You are partly responsible for burnout among your workers, so it is up to you to do something about the work environment and organization.
Explore further: Podcast Worklife with Adam Grant, episode “Burnout is everyone’s problem“, (March 2020).