It is important that leaders understand that many of their employees have a reduced capacity for work stressors during this unpredictable time. While some see working from home as a luxury, many others are having a difficult time adjusting to the isolation. The uncertainty that has engulfed the world in recent months has caused anxiety among many people about their future, as well as that of their company.
Those that have been fortunate enough to maintain full-time positions have an increased risk for burnout, as they have worked through what has been one of the most turbulent times in recent history. As a leader, it is important to take preventive measures to ensure your team stays at their best. Burnout is real, and is mostly due to stress. Here are five ways to help your team reduce stress and remain positive and productive.
Include Elements Of Fun Everywhere
Having a bit of fun and trying to keep the mood light is an essential function of leadership in today’s current landscape. Here at Winn we have weekly company meetings that include highlights of current or upcoming projects, an open forum, puppet shows, musical performances, joke contests and a variety of other activities to keep people engaged and in a positive mindset. There are email chains that include random animal fun facts, photos of workspaces, funny memes and several other fun topics. Even our social distancing signs inside the office get their point across with a bit of humor. If your team is having fun at work every day, they are unlikely to become burned out.
Set Clear Goals And Expectations
Having clear direction is essential for workers to avoid stress. Knowing exactly what needs to be done, who will be doing it, and when it needs to be completed will help your team focus on the task at hand without being held back by unclear objectives. This also ensures key tasks don’t fall through the cracks and your team remains unified. Take time to thoroughly explain the goals and expectations of each project and clearly define each person’s involvement. Be available and welcoming to any questions your team may have. Don’t be afraid to over-clarify.
Incorporate Mindfulness Into Meetings
Practicing mindfulness has become extremely popular for executives across the globe and can be extremely useful in reducing stress and maintaining a positive mindset. In a period of great uncertainty, finding ways to cope with stress is imperative. Many activities that encourage mindfulness can take relatively little time and have a tremendous impact on your team. Incorporating some of these activities into your daily or weekly meetings can help keep your team mentally sharp and productive. The key to mindfulness is consistency.
Encourage Physical Activity
Exercise releases endorphins, which can reduce stress and improve your mood. While you certainly can’t force your team to exercise, encouraging them to is a great idea. Some companies have gone as far as paying fitness instructors to lead short morning sessions via Zoom meetings to help keep their teams active. You may even take it upon yourself to lead one of these sessions. Make it fun and entertaining and offer small incentives to encourage participation.
Recognize And Reward Their Efforts
Recognition for excellent work can serve as a great motivator for both the person receiving the recognition as well as the rest of the team. Your rewards do not necessarily have to have a cash value, they can be as simple as thanking someone for their efforts during a team meeting or through email. Coming up with a set of milestones that trigger a particular reward can inspire friendly competition and can serve as both a motivational tool and team building exercise.