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Are you a “burned-out” case? Have you ever felt like one? Have you ever noticed that someone in your team might be a burned-out case or on the verge of it?
As a leader of your team, you want to make sure that every person on your team is performing at his/her peak without burning themselves out and missing out on enjoying their life outside of work.
Below are three signs of burnout that I look for in my team members:
1. Responding to emails very late at night on a regular basis.
Yes, this is a very common problem, unfortunately. This is assuming you and your team has a regular day job. To make matters worse, you notice that they are responding or writing emails even on weekends! Yep, been there done that! It doesn't help with people's family and personal life and hurts their health tremendously. We all have 24 hours in a day – not a second less, not a second more. People mostly tend to cut into their sleep time, which becomes a huge factor in them getting burned out.
2. Skipping meals.
You will be surprised if you were to ask your team members as to what they say when you ask them what they had for breakfast today. When your team members know you care as their lead, they will open up to you. When you ask them why they didn't have their breakfast, they will admit how overwhelmed they are. People work way too many hours, skip on sleep, get up in the morning and rush to their work without having a breakfast let alone a healthy one. They get to work really tired. Grab a not so healthy snack and drag themselves throughout the day, get even more tired, work late hours, go home late, get very little sleep, and… You get the idea. When you find out your team members are getting into habit of skipping their meals on a regular basis, they are on the path to burnout – eventually!
3. When you invite them for lunch and they say something like “I will come but only if “john” doesn't call me”!
I will tell you a story. At my work one time I was working on a project where I had noticed a person in another functional team had been working rather hard (read, long hours) and sounded rather frustrated during various conference calls. I wondered whether he was being recognized for his hard work and dedication. Has anyone even thanked him lately? So, I decided I will thank him by taking him out to lunch since he was basically supporting my project. I sent him an invite and mentioned in there that I have no hidden agenda, I just want to buy him lunch as a thank you for all his efforts and supporting my team. He responded stating “I will come only if John (not his real name) doesn't call me during lunch”. I was so shocked to read this response. I picked up the phone and called him. Long story short, I took him to lunch. He shared more of his “horror” stories of his work conditions and how “John” has been treating people in general. It revealed clear signs of burnout.
If you are a good leader, which I assume you are, look out for the above signs of burnout and help your team members have a better life. In doing so, you will become a great leader. Guaranteed!
Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts. Thanks!