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How to avoid leadership burnout in your organisation

What comes to mind when you hear the phrase “Management Burnout”? Physical tiredness, mental haze, and emotional drain are just a few of the terms often associated with this issue.  

According to Gallup survey results for 2020 and 2021, “management burnout is only getting worse.” Development Dimensions International’s Global Leadership Forecast 2021, found that approximately 60% of leaders report feeling exhausted at the end of the workday, which is a clear predictor of burnout. 

Unfortunately, leadership burnout is becoming ever more common, shown by the recent news that Jacinda Ardern is stepping down as New Zealand’s prime minister ahead of this year’s election saying she no longer has “enough in the tank” to lead.  

The pressure, isolation, and weight that comes with being at the top can be overpowering for leaders, making things appear bleak and difficult to handle. Emotional tiredness, disconnection, loss of desire, and decreased efficiency are among burnout signs that can spread over an entire company. 

So, how can you prevent leadership burnout?  

Learn to spot the early warning signs  

Although identifying burnout can be especially challenging for team leaders, it is the first step to overcoming the feeling.   

Leaders can begin by recognising specific signs such as lack of sleep, loss of motivation, fatigue, the feeling that every day at work is a horrible day, increased irritation, and participating in escapism activities such as excessive drinking. 

It’s important to identify these signs as soon as possible to get the support required. Ensure to communicate the signs with employees so they can spot them too.  

Delegate tasks more 

As a company grows, managers are frequently forced to transfer responsibility over positions which they were previously solely accountable for. If responsibilities are not effectively distributed, leaders will inevitably become overwhelmed with the variety of tasks they are responsible for, resulting in stress and burnout.  

By effectively delegating work, leaders not only prevent burnout and stress but they can also enhance their teams’ capabilities. This empowers the workforce to take on new duties and broaden their skill sets.  

Take a step back to rewind, reflect, remember 

Having a defined goal may help overcome even the most challenging barriers. Leaders can often lose sight of their objective over time, especially when the pressures of the job distract them from their more idealistic concerns.  

Ensure to take some time to reflect on why you do what you do. What is your goal? What makes this project so essential to you? What do you aim to accomplish? 

Establish boundaries 

It is important to remember overcommitting to tasks can quickly lead to burnout. Often leaders are expected always to be reachable and responsive. However, they must establish clear communication boundaries that allow them to limit their focus and spend time away from the office. 

Ask for support 

There is a saying, “it’s lonely at the top.” However, it’s time we debunk this and show leadership doesn’t always have to be lonely and isolated. Burnout can impact a person’s physical and mental well-being. It’s important to communicate and seek support from those around you such as friends, family, mental health professionals or even leadership networking platforms 

To find out how hr inspire, Hertfordshire’s leading HR consultancy, can help you navigate the challenges of leadership burnout, speak to a member of our HR team today – we pride ourselves on bringing your business the benefits, protection and experience of an entire HR department.

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