Entrepreneurs

Council Post: Leading A Team Through Pandemic Burnout

By Tyler Bray, owner of The Trailer Parts Outlet.

Let’s talk seriously about Covid-19 burnout.

You can’t skate by on the assumption that it won’t happen. 

Even if people are employed, they are sacrificing normalcy, comfort, privacy and small dignities throughout the pandemic. 

How many memories were lost? The comforting change of seasons was obliterated. Every personal choice and gathering became politicized. 

Many people’s lives were reduced to nothing but work, and those were the lucky ones. Furloughs and layoffs were the experience of many.

I believe that business leaders have a responsibility to their people that goes beyond a professional relationship. 

I believe a leader should support and stabilize each part of their team. If you take care of your people, they will take care of your customers. The customers will take care of your business, and the circle will be complete. 

How can you lead people through burnout?

I believe it gets back to the simple things. It’s about being a human being again and finding a way to strengthen the relationships that built your company in the first place.

Check In With Your Teammates

When I recommend check-ins with your teammates, I’m not just talking about reviewing job performance. I mean a personal check-in. Are they quarantined alone or with people? Are they hanging in there? It can mean so much to anybody. A text is OK. A phone call is better. A video call lets them see a face without a mask on it. Also, try leaving work out of the conversation! Don’t turn it back to work at the end. Hopefully, this isn’t the first personal conversation you have had with your team members. But better late than never, if so.

Refresh Your Schedule

If scheduling is grinding any member of your team down, see what you can do to refresh it. Sometimes different work is a better solution than rest. That will depend on the personality of your people. This might not actually be the right time to give someone less to do! Know if you have industrious people who would shake the dust off a little bit if they had a fresh schedule or mission. 

Tell People To Use Their Personal Days

Studies have shown that Americans don’t use their personal days very often. However, their overall satisfaction might pick up when they use their time off regularly. Send out a message encouraging people to use them. People work hard. Sometimes they need permission to plan a fun family day, or a board-game-and-brew night with their fellow quarantiners. We all have specific circumstances that modify our life during the pandemic.

Tell Your Teammates To Connect With Each Other, Too

You have limited bandwidth. It’s just a fact. You can’t have the type of connection with everybody in your circles that you might like. Tell your teammates to connect with each other, too. Sometimes, people will form bonds that make them work more tightly together. Also, it will create the type of culture you want even when you can’t be around to set the tone. 

Be a human being and look out for your people. Hang in there to everybody.

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