Are You Contributing To Employee Burnout?

Employee burnout is detrimental to your bottom line. When your workers are emotionally drained or too exhausted to contribute their ideas, your business isn't moving ahead. While you might think heavy workloads or external stresses lead to burnout, there's also an unexpected source of employee burnout: Your own ego.

Joel Carnevale, an assistant professor of management at Syracuse University, says leaders must recognize their employees' needs and hold themselves accountable for their employees' well-being. In this issue of Promotional Consultant Today, we discuss Carnevale's tips for curtailing employee burnout.

Remember your employees' emotional needs. As a leader, you're responsible for providing your employees with the resources they need to be successful and perform at high levels. But this doesn't just mean providing tangible resources needed for the task at hand, Carnevale says. Research shows that leaders also play a crucial role in providing the cognitive and emotional resources employees need to feel energized and enthusiastic at work. This can be achieved simply by offering a friendly ear, providing emotional support when needed, or engaging in other behaviors that demonstrate your interest in the emotional needs of your employees. However, if you're too focused on your own needs, you may be neglecting this vital role at the expense of your employees' energy and productivity.

Be mindful of your expectations and behavior. Not only might you be neglecting your role as a source of energy for your employees, but you may be engaging in behaviors that actually drain your employees' energy. The increasingly stressful and fast-paced nature of today's work environment means that employees are at greater risk than ever of becoming de-energized and emotionally drained at work. But Carnevale says that, if in addition to their daily job demands, your employees feel expected to cater to your own emotional needs—whether it be tending to your fragile ego, providing you with constant praise and attention or serving as an ongoing source of emotional support—their work energy is likely to suffer even greater deficits.

Hold yourself accountable. At the end of the day, it's important to remember that one of the most important responsibilities you have as a leader is to ensure your team's well-being. In this respect, it's important to hold yourself accountable. Carnevale says that if you feel a sense of accountability to those you lead, you may become more mindful of how your behavior is affecting your employees and actively work to avoid these pitfalls.

If you want to prevent employee burnout on your team, it's important to take action. While leaders can be the source of employee burnout, they can also be the remedy for it. Commit to understanding your employees rather than focusing on your own goals. It's also important to keep your own behavior in check and stay cognizant of how you treat your team members.

Source: Joel Carnevale is an assistant professor of management at Syracuse University's Martin J. Whitman School of Management. His research focuses on employee ethicality, prosocial behavior and the dark side of leader personality.

filed under October 2019
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