How can you prevent burnouts in your team or organisation as a manager?

By Martin Thoolen,
Published at 7 December 2022.
Read in 3 minutes.

You are incredibly busy. Every day. Absent team members are really inconvenient for you.

Always, actually.

Because you still want to achieve those team goals and help your organisation thrive. Without putting too much pressure on your team. How can you, as a manager, prevent burnouts? Or significantly reduce them in any case? So that team members don't collapse but are able to continue working for you. You can do a great deal, but this does require a new approach. Because you, in your position as manager or administrator, have enormous influence over this situation.

You are well aware of what burnouts cost your team: money, extra time spent on transfers and reduced job satisfaction, team spirit and team results.

“Burn-out is a massive energy drain in your team and organisation”

Everybody has their limits. Without exception. That's what makes us human, not robots. Two of the nine characteristics of awareness in my new book ‘Personally Inspiring Leadership,’ are: embracing the polarities (including exertion versus relaxation) and respecting natural cycles. If you follow these natural laws as a leader you will keep your team or organisation dynamic and durable.

Embrace polarities (such as exertionversus relaxation)

In your role as manager, do you accept, listen and act appropriately for what you ask from your team members? That they must achieve targets and carry out (extra) tasks. But is this how you treat their vulnerabilities as people? Even if that is less beneficial for your bottom line? In short, do you embrace both the strengths and vulnerabilities of your team?

In concrete terms do you recognise the signs of physical and mental stress in your staff? Do you know what they are? Or do you keep distance and pay them scant attention? See what happens if you approach them more often or telephone to ask them how they really feel, making sure that you break through the barrier of social acceptability. Then you might be in time to head off burnouts.

If your team members are then honest enough to say that it is actually too much for them, acknowledge their negative stress? Because it is all too easy to minimise or justify the stress signals sent by your colleagues and fail to take action. Why? Because it might be inconvenient for you.

Following natural cycles

After rain comes sunshine, comes rain, comes sunshine, comes rain, etc. After inhalation comes exhalation, comes inhalation, comes exhalation, etc. After exertion comes relaxation, comes exertion, comes relaxation, etc

These natural cycles typify natural life itself and keep us energetic and durable. And this also applies to your team or organisation. There is just one thing that can completely work against this and cause systematic negative stress in you or your team: ego fed by fear. Experience reveals that three ego passengers in people totally ignore natural laws: your inner pleaser, pusher and perfectionist. They may encourage us to go on for longer and worker harder than our body can handle, until the lights go out. Because those who don't want to hear must feel. A terrible pity.

If you don't allow your ego as a leader to constantly dominate you and your team members you will open the door to team vitality and durability. If you respect necessary relaxation and vulnerability your leadership will be so much more effective in the long run.

Would you like to know how to recognise and acknowledge stress signals from your team members and how to deal with them effectively? Would you like to learn practical ways to strengthen team spirit as a buffer to stress?

On 12 January from 4 AM to 4 AM, I will be holding a Webinar for administrators, school heads and internal facilitators in cooperation with Leeruniek: Team vitality and durability.

Would you like to make your team or organisation vital and durable? duurzaam inzetbaar maken?

Yes, please contact me [email protected]. or call/app me on: +31-6-15620111

In a free orientation we can look how I can be at your service.

Interested for yourself?

Take a look at this Christmas present: the book ‘Personally Inspiring Leadership.’ For more effective work, a meaningful life and a better world. View or order a copy here:

(English book will appear in the beginning of 2023). Click on Fragment to see the promotional copy and find out whether my book could help you.

Or experience in person how you can improve your work/life balance with the new Personally Inspiring Leadership Master's Course:

©2022: Martin Thoolen

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Martin Thoolen

My 30 years of professional experience as an awareness coach, clinical and organisational psychologist has enabled me to help thousands of clients in Personal or Collective Leadership. Both groups and individuals, in coaching sessions, training courses, leadership development and organisation development programs, retreats and seminars.
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