Gain momentum to carry you through the year
It’s one thing to start the year feeling fresh, and full of enthusiasm and ideas. It’s another to be able to maintain that feeling and momentum through the year as you navigate new challenges and unexpected road blocks.
Employee burnout is an increasingly common problem for employers. It’s even officially recognised by the World Health Organisation as a syndrome and it’s recognised as a contributor to the ‘great resignation’ documented in the US.
A recent Gallup study into levels of burnout among managers in the US found the levels of stress have increased between 2020 and 2021. It has also found that some of the reasons for that stress include a lack of clarity around their role, poor communication, time pressure and a lack of support from management.
The good news is there are strategies and tactics you can employ early in the year, for yourself and for your team, to help build resilience and wellbeing, keep energy and engagement levels up, and to avoid the debilitating effects of burnout.
Learning how to create clear achievable goals for yourself or your team is an important tool in managing work related stress. For example if you are a project manager you don’t need to improvise! By learning to accurately scope a project and define smart goals you can massively reduce the stress associated with projects.
Learn to set goals that are specific, small in scale and achievable, so you can put the building blocks of your project together on time and with successful, low stress results. For example, instead of planning to grow your customer base by 10%, sit down with your team, to plan and allocated a schedule of specific tasks that support everybody to achieve that target.
The same principles can be applied to your own workload and goals for the year. Put clearly defined tasks in place so you feel like you’re always achieving ‘small victories on the road to success.
Managing your own capacity in the workplace is an important part of avoiding mid-year burn out. Managing your capacity allows you to respond with agility and flexibility, and without stress, to unexpected challenges or changes.
One important way to do this is to learn to lead your team, rather than micro managing them. It means you can focus on building trust, developing coaching and counselling skills, and understanding how to connect with your team and inspire them to success, instead of trying to do their work for them as well as your own. When you build a culture of continuous improvement and trust in your team, you’ll be able to adapt quickly to new challenges and company requirements.
Being able to effectively, confidently and consistently communicate with clients, your team, and your company leadership can remove a lot of stress factors from your day-to-day work life.
Committing to business communication training can help you not only ensure stakeholders are fully aware of what you are working on, and what your challenges are, but it is a powerful tool in persuading them to your point of view and reducing the potential for conflict. Speaking and responding confidently builds connection and trust, with stakeholders so you’re able to move forward and achieve goals.
The last word
Of course, the other important tool to have in your professional tool kit is to remember to take breaks through the year to keep refreshed and engaged. One study released by the American Psychological Association concluded that time off helps to reduce stress by removing people from the activities and environments that they associate with anxiety.