5 Ways You Can Give Back to Your Team
Hard work can be rewarding for your team, but it can also cause stress and burnout if the energies the team expends aren’t restored periodically. Managers who understand the need for sustainable physical and mental effort from their teams are better able to fight burnout risk and keep their team going.
There are several ways managers can give back to their teams in order to shore up the team’s physical and mental energy. For example:
1. Find Something Meaningful to Praise Every Day
At least once per day, find something a team member has done well and praise the work. Do this publicly whenever possible.
Praise that is given for every task starts to feel patronizing, but praise that is attached to genuinely good work shows the team that its leader knows what quality looks like and that achieving quality is appreciated. Daily praise creates a constructive, can-do atmosphere that helps raise the team’s spirits.
2. Encourage Your Team to Unplug
Often, team members do not need to be available after hours, but they still check text messages or work email after they’ve left for the day. Over time, this behavior creates an expectation that team members will always know what’s going on when they walk in – even if the information didn’t come until after they had left the day before.
Encourage your team to focus on restoring energy after work, not on checking email. If a task cannot wait until their next shift, call them – and compensate them for the time they spend on it.
3. Make it Easy for Team Members to Handle Emergencies
Emergencies happen to everyone. Team members who know they can drop everything and prioritize an accident, mishap or illness experience less stress and are better able to focus on work once they return.
Create and use policies to cover work temporarily if one team member has to deal with an emergency. Avoid contacting that team member about work while the emergency is ongoing. You’ll greatly reduce their stress and chance of burnout.
4. Make Work Flexible
Summer is a great time to experiment with more flexible working options, like working from a laptop outdoors, opening the doors and windows, or allowing staff to leave an hour earlier.
When work is flexible, staff have a better opportunity to discover which work environments allow them to get tasks done without overburdening them. The sense of rest and relaxation even in the middle of a busy workday can help prevent burnout.
5. When Needed, Bring in Additional Help
Temporary and contract staff can help your team avoid burnout by taking on some of the physical and mental load each day’s work demands. Consider using these staff for seasonal rushes or when a project requires specialized knowledge your core team doesn’t have.
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