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3 Actionable Steps Leaders Can Take to Avoid Burnout

Nicole MacLean
Nicole MacLean

Nearly 70% of the entire workforce is experiencing burn out right now. This collective experience  is being caused by factors like the strain of expectations at work and exacerbated by disorientation or lack of role clarity in this new season. People are also juggling home life in ways they never have before, and feeling guilty about taking time off.

As a leader, what can you do about it? Here are a few suggestions that will help you address burnout within your teams. 

1. Consider forced PTO

Flexible or unlimited PTO was popular before COVID, but it is not working in the way it was before. And simply encouraging employees to “take a break when you need it” isn’t enough.

At Emplify, we saw this happening in the engagement data within our company. As a result, we  took a period of time where we moved to a four-day workweek. It was about meeting our employees needs based on what they were telling us. 

2. Institute no-meeting blocks

Having no meeting blocks creates windows for focused, disciplined, productive time. 

This time can also be used to develop deeper manager to employee relationships. For example,  you can have the employee write down their priorities for the week, share them with the manager, then have the manager re-rank the priorities. We’re all feeling overly strained, and aligning on those top two or three critical outcomes can create a lift for your people, helping them evaluate their week without feeling overwhelmed.

3. Check in frequently

Burnout is a reality that many employees are facing. Make it a goal to not let them face it alone by having a dialogue around the topic. If you feel you’re not getting clear communication from your team members, consider working with a third party to help you assess your employees’ burnout level.

If you’d like to dig in more to this topic, checkout our podcast episode, featuring Emplify’s Chief People Officer, Adam weber, for more detail.

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