Leaders know the look.
The bleary-eyed, baggy-eyed, tired-eyed employee who has given everything they have to their role and their company, and has completely burned out.
Sometimes, a leader might be looking at themselves in the mirror in that scenario. And yet, leaders need to bypass their burnout to revive an employee or team or company.
Where do leaders get the energy to do so? What do they do? How do employees respond? What are the results?
For insights, I turned to Terkel. Here’s what business leaders and employees had to say about motivation ideas to combat burnout.
What are some motivation ideas for employees who are burned out?
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From getting them back in touch with their long-term goals to adding a little VISH, here are 12 answers to the question, “How have you motivated employees when they are burned out?”
- Assist Employees With Their Career Goals
- Remind Employees They are Part of the Team
- Praise Talent Regularly
- Point Out the Progress They Have Made
- Discuss Their Long-term Objectives
- Encourage Breaks
- Identify the Needs of Your Employees
- Incorporate Wellness Activities
- Give Support and Resources
- Offer Incentive Gift Cards
- Provide Paid Leave and Vacation Hours
- Implement VISH
Assist Employees With Their Career Goals
An important factor in employee happiness is career advancement. Resume builders will always be your best performers. It will be much easier for people to grow in their careers if there are chances for bright players to do their best work daily, along with learning and training possibilities.
Show that you care about the person and not just the one that comes to work. People are prone to reciprocate in kind to the increased amount of favorable attention they are receiving.
Remember that you will establish a high-performance culture where high-performers are significantly likely to quit when you establish a success mentality where people are adding success bullets to their resumes.
Remind Them They are Part of the Team
When employees are burned out, I have found that making them feel like they are part of a team is the most effective way to motivate them. This means that managers need to be more supportive, instead of just being focused on getting the job done at all costs.
They also need to make sure that the employees understand why things need to be done a specific way so that they can take ownership of the work and see how it fits into the larger scheme of things. For example, if you’re putting together an important presentation for an upcoming client meeting, let your employees know why this meeting is so important and how it fits into your company’s overall strategy.
This will help them feel like they are contributing something meaningful, rather than just working hard on something without knowing why. You can also let your employees know that they have their rights, for example, you can let them visit a site like HKM to further their knowledge about their rights and privileges as employee!
Praise Talent Regularly
One of the leading causes of burnout is feeling underappreciated or not even recognized at all. By seeking opportunities for positive feedback on a job well done or other accomplishments, employees will feel seen and heard. Motivating talent when they’re burned out can be as simple as recognizing and acknowledging that they are talented and appreciated.
Point Out the Progress They Have Made
Even though taking a break may be the best remedy, sometimes, leaders may need all the help they can get. This is when it’s crucial to find the right way to motivate them, and one of the best things to do is remind them how far they’ve come.
Whether it’s the progress of a project or how much they’ve achieved, a good look at the journey so far can prove beneficial in motivating employees who are facing burnout.
Discuss Their Long-term Objectives
Employee burnout is not something to be taken lightly, but sometimes the circumstances call for just a little motivation to get across the finish line.
One thing that can help in this situation is reminding your employees of what their long-term goals are and how the completion of this task can help them get a few steps closer.
When they feel their effort is likely to benefit them individually, they’re more likely to find the motivation to put in that extra effort.
As a leader, it’s so important to encourage breaks throughout the workday. It’s common for employees to work through their lunch break or not move from the desk for the entire day.
Encourage them to take a 30-minute break; take a walk and go grab food. They need to rest and refresh mentally, and a break is the best way to do so.
Identify the Needs of Your Employees
When I’ve had to motivate employees who feel burned out, I’ve found that it’s important to first be aware of the potential reasons for their burnout. Sometimes it’s a workload issue, and sometimes it’s just the nature of their role.
Once I’ve identified those reasons, I try to come up with solutions that will help them overcome those challenges and bring them back into the fold. If it’s a workload issue, for example, there are things like delegating tasks or using tools like automation software to help them manage their time more effectively.
But sometimes it’s just about being more aware of what your employees need from you and if you’re not providing that for them, then your best option may be just being more present and available as an employer.
Kimberley Tyler-Smith, VP of Strategy and Growth, Resume Worded
Incorporate Wellness Activities
Wellness activities can include hiring a yoga instructor to teach a one-hour free yoga class or 30-minute employee wellness walks at lunch.
I think bringing employees together and getting them away from their desks can help motivate them and motivate each other.
Give Support and Resources
One way to motivate employees is to provide the support and resources the employee needs to cope with burnout. This may look different for different people.
Examples of support and resources may include time off, counseling or wellness programs, recognition, and help with setting boundaries. Make sure you listen to your employees when they are experiencing burnout and respond to their individual needs.
Offer Incentive Gift Cards
Gift cards are a great way to add an extra incentive to your employees when you sense they are getting burned out.
I have used gift cards to Amazon or Visa gift cards to push employees to continue working on a project or toward sales goals to help them avoid fatigue, or recover from long periods of hard work. This extra layer of incentive helps them reach the company goals and get a renewed sense of incentives.
Provide Paid Leave and Vacation Hours
Show your employees you appreciate and value their hard work. One way to do this is by giving them a couple of weeks where they can start later in the day, but remain on full pay.
This will not only show them that the company appreciates their efforts, but it will also give them a chance to rest and recharge. Employees can use this time for relaxation, exploration, or other activities that will help them feel refreshed and ready to tackle their work again. By taking this step, you make employees feel valued and help them avoid burnout in the long run.
Burnout is real. People are exhausted and have lost their sense of purpose. As an employer, you need to ensure you are remembering to incorporate VISH into everyday practices. V – I want to feel VALUED. Show me you value my ideas, my feedback, and my contributions. I – I need to be INSPIRED. In order to become re-energized and find my purpose, I need to be inspired, included, and given opportunities to be innovative S – I need to be SUPPORTED. Life offers lots of challenges. Flex hours, hybrid work, accommodations, and extra training all make someone feel you care.
H – I need to feel HEARD. No one wants to come to work and feel that they are ignored, bullied, or alienated.
Listen to what really matters, and ACT on it.
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