Corporate burnout can suck the life out of your best employees. As new initiatives pile up before old ones can be completed, your star players can being to feel overtaxed and underappreciated. Before long, they’ll be looking for work elsewhere. Corporate burnout happens when companies try to cram too much activity into their employees’ working hours. When employees don’t have the time or resources to accomplish any task well or they are expected to accomplish too many different kinds of activities, then burnout isn’t far away.
How do you keep from burning out your talent stars and at the same time improve retention rates?
Recognize the Predictors of Burnout Potential
Your best employees tend to become your go-to people when you have a new project or responsibility to assign. Be careful, however, because loading an employee with multiple expectations and responsibilities can lead to burnout, especially if he doesn’t feel that he has the resources needed to adequately perform those responsibilities. Burnout also happens when a company is constantly making changes or improvements. While all of those changes may support company goals and strategy, employees need a break between initiatives in order to regroup.
Make Positive Changes Before You Lose Your Star Players
If you’ve identified burnout predictors in your company environment, now is the time to begin making positive changes in order to keep your employees on board. Give them the resources they need to work efficiently, whether that be an additional worker, access to funding, or simply spacing out projects to provide better focus on any given job.
If you’re already seeing signs of burnout, institute these measures:
- Put a hold on new projects—Don’t keep piling more jobs on top of your employees. Even if a new project would be a positive step for the company, it won’t produce the desired effect if your employees aren’t fully engaged.
- Determine which current projects take priority—Get feedback from employees about which projects can take a backseat and which ones should receive the most attention. Allowing employees to focus their skills on one project can help them feel more productive.
- Give employees some space to regroup—When a project is completed, take time to celebrate and let employees breathe before starting the next big thing. If organizational changes have taken place in the company, give your workers some time to adjust before expecting them to tackle a high-performance initiative.
The best way to avoid burnout is to create an environment that encourages creativity and self-management. Self-managers make better workers, especially when they have the freedom to focus their attention on the task at hand rather than being pulled in multiple directions. If you want to keep your star players around for a while, give them a work environment that allows them to thrive.