HOW CAN LEADERS MANAGE BURNOUT?
Published: 21 December 2021
How can leaders can move beyond burn-out, balance optimism with transparency, and keep leadership real? Certified Chairs™ and organisational psychologists Kelly Maniatis and Greg Nathan considered the current working environment given the ongoing pandemic, and why it’s important for leaders to look after employees while not losing sight of their own needs.
AN EVER-CHANGING WORLD (& WORK) ENVIRONMENT
In 2021 as we entered into year two of the pandemic, the goalposts for finding a new normal were still continuously moving, causing a “marathon mindset” for leaders and employees. You’ve likely heard the terms “languishing”, “burnout” and “the great resignation” more than a few times recently, and they are not to be ignored.
STEER THE SHIP TOWARDS THE STORM
In the last few years leaders started to adopt a “Captain Jack Sparrow” (yes, the pirate) style approach – no matter what happens, face it head-on. Navigate from problem to problem without overthinking. According to the Voice Project, leaders who dealt directly with the issues the pandemic created had increased positive engagement with their employees. It all came down to communication – leaders saying what they did and didn’t know as it happened and as such, prioritising wellbeing and creating passion for the business. As 2021 rolled on, the end of the storm was no closer, and transparency and check-ins dropped off. The constant changes that affected work and home life meant that leaders themselves started to lose interest and hope.
Instead, leaders need to understand that there’s not going to be a bounce-back from the pandemic in the workspace, rather a re-emergence with stops and starts – and that’s okay. Having a leader navigating through the turbulent waters with a positive and steadfast focus on the horizon will give resilience and camaraderie to those below-deck.
TOP TIPS FOR REINVIGORATING LEADERS & MANAGING BURNOUT
- Have a support network (at work and at home) – involvement leads to engagement.
- Maintain a balance by remembering the point of life, it’s not all work!
- See the value in recovery. Enter microbreaks and microcations.
- Sit side-by-side with your fellow leaders and employees rather than competing for space.
- Create a feedback culture – actively listen with humility and close the loop.
- Put forward an optimistic perspective. Ask your employees, “Where is my effort best applied today?” Realise and respect that you cannot give 100% all the time.
- Reframe difficult situations as a lesson-learnt opportunity. Strive to improve, not prove.
- Credibility as a leader will only increase by being honest and transparent.
WHERE DO ADVISORS & ADVISORY BOARDS FIT IN?
From an advisory context, reigniting leadership means building authentic, purposeful, confident and modern organisations that can set the tone for the next generation of businesses and business leaders. By encouraging leaders to express, rise, energise and keep it real, organisations will have the right support to plan boldly and confidently (State of the Market Global Report, 2021).
A principles-led and formally structured advisory board provides the ability for a business to progress beyond burnout. Learn more about best practice as an advisor and for advisory boards with our ABF101 Advisory Board Best Practice Framework™.