[reading time: appr. 5 min.]
You want your team to perform at a high level by not burning out? During my time as a manager in an international logistics group, I have also been facing this challenge time and again. Especially due to the fact that I myself was on the edge of a mental and physical breakdown even twice during my career in logistics.
However, before I turn to this question, it should be mentioned at the outset that during my 25 years in logistics there was actually no serious discussion with me in which my boss addressed my general state of health or workload in order to find solutions together and bring about an improvement.
It was simply not part of the work culture to discuss personal health and well-being. This may be due to the logistics industry itself, which is quite well known for its rather uncouth way of working and to the project environment in which I worked for the most part, characterized by constant deadline pressure that generally leaves little time for discussions about “soft facts”.
In my first years as a manager, I too only had rudimentary and rather half-hearted discussions with my employees about their well-beings – knowing full well that the one or the other of them were also at the limits of their capabilities. It wasn’t until the end of my corporate career that I better understood the importance of burnout prevention and adjusted my management style accordingly. In retrospect, I should have taken this topic much more seriously from the start. In the end, I can consider myself lucky never to have had a burnout case in my teams.
But what can managers do to prevent employee burnout while ensuring that the team performs at a high level? From my perspective, there are 10 points to consider:
The opinion is often expressed in coaching articles that especially those who are new to the team, i.e. at the beginning of the learning curve, are at risk of burnout, while the potential boreout cases occur at the end of the curve, where one has reached a certain comfort zone. In my opinion, the alleged “sweet spot” in between is not so “sweet” at all especially for many top performers in the company, because they are often entrusted with more and more tasks (after all, their managers know that they “deliver”) until they too literally “go to their knees“.
Certainly, genetic predisposition as well as the degree of resilience gained over the years also play a role. And of course, the job itself. For example, employees who have a lot of contact with other people (e.g. in sales or customer service) are particularly at risk of burnout. Imprinting can also contribute to being susceptible to burnout. For example, through manifested beliefs such as “Making mistakes is always bad!” or “You always have to give at least 100%!”, which were adopted by parents or other authorities in early childhood and now act as Inner Drivers.
In summary, it can certainly be stated that the topic of “burnout prevention” is multi-faceted and represents an ever-growing challenge for managers. Especially these days, where the ongoing trend of working from home increasingly limits direct personal contact.
Finally, I would like to plead for taking the topic of “burnout” so seriously that it becomes a firm part of your agenda in the context of team development. I would be happy to support you on this way. Also, if you would like to get help for yourself in critical situations. Feel free to contact me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or use the contact form on my homepage.
If you are also interested in getting to know your Inner Drivers better, you are welcome to get a self-test (with automatic analysis function) free of charge from me via the above-mentioned contact options.
Best regards and wishing you healthy success on your further career path!