The signs of burnout are often small to start. It could look like an employee or a team is simply having an off day. Perhaps morale is a bit low, a passing comment is made that seem a little cynical or there is simply so much to do that it’s not possible to pause and connect. We all have those moments from time to time.
When those days start to turn into weeks, it is essential to examine what factors may be contributing to a heightened state of pressure. And that is not solely up to the person who is experiencing burnout. The entire organizational ecosystem plays a role in the well-being of its people.
Learning & Development (L&D) professionals may not always have a clear view of each employee’s experience with stress, yet they still have an opportunity to make a positive impact on their health. In providing accessible trainings to individuals, extending managerial support and promoting an inclusive culture, L&D can improve workplace well-being.
Mitigate Burnout with Trainings & Resources
Wellness trainings are powerful tools to ease tensions. I recommend instruction in mindfulness practices, stress reduction strategies as well as emotional intelligence, which enables participants to boost self-awareness and self-regulation.
While these offerings are designed to lessen fatigue, people who are experiencing a great deal of pressure may be resistant to signing up for a program even if it will be helpful in the long run. With this in mind, it’s important that L&D professionals identify ways to honor time commitments by delivering a mix of traditional learning, microlearning as well as self-directed, digital courses that individuals can engage in on their own time. In addition, try breaking down training content into bite-sized resources like infographics, email templates or instructographics.
Make sure there is some choice in education options. Opportunities for growth encourage employees to feel more engaged at work. When personnel have the chance to opt into different development offerings, they can take ownership over their well-being and find options that speak to their needs and interests. Learning also unlocks new ways of thinking and inspires imagination, which may lessen day-to-day pressures.
Reduce Fatigue through Managerial Support
L&D experts can have a profound impact on overall organizational wellness by focusing on management. To begin, determine the sorts of skills that people leaders need to be successful in their roles and in assisting their team members. Some competencies may include effective time management, delegation and communication.
Managers also benefit from having tools to spot anxiety and tension in its early stages as well as resources to coach their direct reports to decrease stress. Consider providing activities or templates to empower supervisors to help their people prioritize, take a group health check and detect obstacles to productivity. For some quick tips, explore our Manager Toolkit: Battling Burnout.
Furthermore, collaborate with managers to assess whether employees lack certain skills that would allow them to complete their work more effectively. In these instances, identify upskilling opportunities to support staff. If certain team members are consistently overwhelmed, L&D experts may also partner with people leaders to activate cross-training initiatives to spread out the workload.
Inspire Wellness with Positivity & Inclusivity
Burnout may arise because of broader environmental factors. For example, if someone feels isolated or does not believe they are a valued part of the company, it is likely that they will experience greater levels of stress. L&D teams can address these concerns through a few avenues.
Participating in programs like Emergenetics® that reveal personal strengths and encourage meaningful team building enable staff to recognize their gifts, build connection with colleagues and value cognitive diversity. This understanding promotes a more welcoming atmosphere where people know that they are respected for their talents and as individuals. L&D leaders may build on these initiatives through inclusivity trainings to amplify appreciation for different experiences and backgrounds.
Lastly, a focus on positive language is particularly beneficial to workplace wellness. Simple changes in the way we speak to one another (and ourselves) shifts mindsets from a place of challenge and difficulty to one of opportunity and promise. Through programs that teach employees across the organization to employ positive psychology, talent development professionals will see a lift in company culture.
Every person plays a part in increasing, maintaining or diminishing the well-being of their colleagues and teammates. L&D leaders will take a leading role in overall employee wellness by giving staff members trainings and actionable resources to reduce their own stress and create a positive workplace environment across the organization.