Building Better Managers Podcast Episode #25: Banish Burnout!
"When we are no longer able to change a situation - we are challenged to change ourselves." ~ Viktor E. Frankl
We are facing very challenging times, so if you weren't already leaning toward burnout, you or someone you know probably is now. Leaders and managers need to watch for the signs of burnout for themselves and for their teams. Today's guest, Janice Litvin, is on a mission to help banish burnout in organizations and create healthy, happy and productive work environments.
Her new book, Banish Burnout Toolkit, helps you and your teams manage stress to prevent burnout from the inside out. The goal is long lasting behavior change.
In this episode:
How Covid Has Impacted Workplace Stress
- Even before Covid up to 66% of the workforce was approaching burnout (Gallup).
Signs of Burnout
- One way is suddenly, just like with the children, you are lashing out, and some of the indicators are that you're just not yourself. You starting to get overly emotional, overreacting, snapping at people you care about and love, those around you.
- Other physiological signs of burnout include headaches, migraine headaches, even irritable bowel syndrome.
- But the number one way to tell if somebody is burning out is their behavior.
How to Approach a Team Member You Think Might Be Suffering from Burnout
- If a manager sees the behavior that I've talked about, the person is overreacting, they're not as productive as they used to be, they're all these little signs, even the way they're keeping their camera off during the group zoom meetings during COVID.
- It's up to the manager privately to take them aside. In an email or other message, "We need to talk," can provoke a negative reaction - it's always a sign there's a problem, and that just makes the person nervous.
- How about, "I'm having check-in meetings with everybody. Could you meet with me Monday at 10?" That way, the person doesn't feel threatened going into the meeting.
- And then the person actually lovingly saying, "How are you doing? I know how stressful The COVID is, I know your children, Sandy and Susie, must be so stressed out not being able to go to soccer practice and see their friends. How's it going?" So coming at coming at it from a true loving, concerned friend.
- Some people don't want to admit there's a problem, but giving them a chance to respond, then saying, "Would you like some helpful resources we have? What do you need? What can I do to help you?" allows the person to feel cared for and move forward in a positive way.
- Using open-ended questions to take the pressure off and get honest, helpful information.
Top Burnout Tools
- First, paying attention to how are you reacting to stressors. All these conversations that are going on in your head, "I can't believe that clerk is so slow. Why is that woman asking her a million questions about the scones," nobody knows except you that you're having that conversation in your own head and it doesn't hurt anybody but you, it's really, really important to stop, take a breath, observe and proceed. And that really deep breath is a true cleansing, physiological calming step. So to stop yourself, and that is the entire trick of the Banish Burnout Toolkit is stopping and knowing what you're doing to yourself, not to mention the people around you, taking a breath, and then proceeding with your behavior.
- The Stress Audit and then the unpacking the emotional baggage is really important.
- Step 5 of Jumping Around is about setting healthy boundaries. You probably know that many people do not know how to say no, in their personal life and in their work life.
- Specific scripts are important, such as how to let your boss know, because some bosses are not as organized and don't manage productivity and tools and projects as efficiently as they could, so they may not know that the person who's always saying "yes, yes," really can't do it all - they really got eight arms flying in the air, and they really need to tell you "No." So first of all, you have to have an open kind of receptive relationship with that person.
- And number two, you have to let the person know that it's okay to say, "Hey, Joe, I've got 60 hours of work to do in 40 hours, do you think we can offload one of my projects or the easier parts of the project or change the deadlines? Because now I'm working 60 hours at home, it never ends, I'm getting stressed out and my family never sees me even though I'm at home."
Downloads & Resources
Follow Janice on LinkedIn, Twitter and check out her website here.
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Check out our blog articles on Leadership here.
About Janice Litvin
Janice Litvin is on a mission to help leaders and teams banish burnout in their organizations, so their employees can come to work healthy, happy, and ready to work. She does this through keynote speeches, workshops, and accountability groups. As a certified virtual presenter and SHRM recertification provider, Janice is passionate about helping teams get engaged with becoming healthy, well, and stress-free.
Her new book Banish Burnout Toolkit helps you and your teams manage stress to prevent burnout, from the inside out. The result: long lasting behavior change.
What makes Janice unique is her 20 years of technology recruiting experience, 10 years in IT, study of psychology, and experience changing her own behavior.