Are Your Employees Burned Out?

December 7th, 2018

Great managers wear lots of hats. They’re coaches, organizers, schedulers, budget masters, and when necessary, they’re teachers, speakers, conflict negotiators, and diplomatic liaisons. They’re also great at taking care of the company’s most important and most valuable assets: its employees. Employees don’t just walk in the door already knowing what to do and contributing at maximum levels. They need managers to make sure the right people are assigned to the right tasks and every employee can access the tools they need for success.

Unmotivated and disengaged employees are NOT contributing at their full potential. And when teams are burned out, it’s the manager’s job to step in and set things right. Here’s how to recognize the signs and take action.

What does burnout look like?

Burnout takes several visible forms, but here’s something it DOESN’T look like: an employee walking into your office and saying, “I’m burned out.” That doesn’t happen. The signs are subtle, and it’s your job to spot them. Look for weariness, distraction and vague responses to new assignments. If your employees accept tasks by saying “I guess I can try” or “I’ll see what I can do,” take a closer look at the situation. The same should be applied to excessive sick days, quarreling and chronic bad moods.

Start honest conversations.

If you think your employee may be overloaded or disengaged, ask them to join you for a chat or take them to lunch. You don’t have to say, “You look burned out,” but feel free to diplomatically ask them how they’re feeling and how their days are going. If you hear signs of trouble, make note. Find out what you can do to help.

Keep an open mind when choosing a solution.

Your burned-out employee may be any number of things: overworked, frustrated by specific obstacles, distracted by non-work events, or simply bored and dispassionate about a job they once loved. Each of these will require a different response from you, so listen carefully before you develop a plan of action.

Keep career development on the table.

If your employee is overworked, take some jobs off their plate; that’s easy enough. But if they’re unmotivated because they’re outgrowing the job or in need of new challenges, bring the full force of your training and connections to bear. Find new ways to help them advance within the company, provide training in-house, provide resources that can help expand their education outside of the workplace, or learn more about their goals, so you can help them reach them.

Get burnout under control before you have to deal with a bigger problem: high turnover. Start by contacting the management experts at PSU.

Managing a Team with Varying Personalities

December 9th, 2016

In a perfect world, our jobs are easy. Employees skip into the office on day one knowing exactly what to do and how to do it perfectly, and mangers earn the love and respect of their teams simply by showing up and smiling. Teams are easy to manage; they all respond to the same rewards and pressures, and the coaching tips that motivate Employee X also work for Employee Y. And of course, X and Y get along beautifully and work together in perfect harmony every single day.

But in the real world, things don’t always fall into place so easily. Employees respond to very different coaching styles, and they don’t always get along. Sometimes, the gestures that support one actually undermine another. So what’s a manager to do? Here are few simple guidelines for managing diverse personalities.

There are no simple answers.

Keep in mind that great managers never really “get it all figured out”. There are no secret keys to successful motivation and training. If you find a secret key, recognize that your key only applies to one person—or personality type—and as soon as the next one appears, you’ll be back to square one. Stay humble and flexible, and be ready to disregard what you’ve learned when your circumstances change.

Be kind.

This simple rule applies to a multitude of management scenarios. If your employee appears to be squaring off with you, misunderstanding you, not following your directions, or willfully creating problems for you and your team, back up. Something is wrong, and escalating the conflict won’t help. Listen and strive to understand what’s happening on the employee’s side of the table. A small amount of patience and empathy on your part can go a long way.

Personalities don’t change, but behaviors do.

If an employee happens to be a narcissist, or excessively shy, or a terrible listener, you can’t change any of those things. And dismissing all employees who fall short of personal perfection will leave you with an empty office pretty quick. Don’t attempt to change core personalities; instead, attempt to understand and work with them as they are. Unlike personalities, behavior and words can be modified. Start there, and work toward an achievable goal: employees who get along well enough to get the job done (without compromising their mental health).

Draw the line when necessary.

Again, you can’t regulate personalities, but you can—and should—recognize and regulate appropriate behavior. A bully will always be a bully, but bullying behavior in the workplace should mean firm disciplinary action and eventual termination. A shy employee will always be shy, but if public speaking is essential to the job, make sure your shy employee gets the coaching, training, and/or eventual transfer that he needs.

Learn more about the coaching and management of the unique personalities that populate your office; turn to the Cleveland County staffing experts at PSU.

Contact us today

©Year Personnel Services Unlimited, Inc.
All Rights Reserved. Site Credits.