6 Ways to Save Your Team From Crashing and Burning

This article comes from Entrepreneur.

6 Ways to Save Your Team From Crashing and Burning

Here are six ways to ensure your team does not burn out this year.

1.) Lead by example.

You, as the person leading your team, need to demonstrate the importance of work-life balance. If you can’t have a healthy relationship with your work, how do you expect your team to do so?

Start by setting boundaries and allowing your employees to do the same. For instance, establish the length of the work day and work week, and once either is over, make it a practice to not email or Slack, even when you have a brilliant idea you think can’t wait. (Instead, write it in a note to yourself and communicate it to the appropriate person the next day.)

Yes, I realize there will be times when you will be working 10 days straight, including weekends, and your team will need to be part of this grueling stretch. But even during these intense periods, remember that your team members have a life outside of work. Give them a chance to live it and be there for their partner and kids. They’ll appreciate it, respect you for it and work harder for you the next day.

2.) Check your desire for right-now innovation.

Every time a founder wants to try the latest business trend or execute on a fresh idea, it puts a burden on employees who have to switch up their day-to-day tasks to meet these new objectives. This “shiny object” approach is one of the quickest ways to frustrate your team and cause resentment.

I realize you’re always going to have new, great ideas. You’re an entrepreneur; it’s just the nature of who you are. But when you chase after every “good idea,” you end up with a bunch of half-baked, half-implemented ones — and even more stressed-out employees.

So think before you act. Keep a private notebook of ideas. Don’t tell anyone about them until you’ve taken the time to flush them out. Consider the following: Is it actually a good idea worth taking action on? Is it short or long term? Is it easily implementable? How many resources will it require? Will its implementation derail a project already in progress? Will it actually move the needle for the metric that is most important to your business?

3.) Determine what is actually on fire.

What’s a priority? Everything, of course! While it might seem that way to you, not everything is an all-hands-on-deck emergency. Learn to prioritize problems, so your staff doesn’t get overwhelmed.

The question you should always be asking is what important task should come before the next important task? You have to have a sequence, and if you’re not consciously choosing it, you will be allowing how you feel in the moment to dictate what your team works on (not a great strategy). Ruthless prioritization is key, and while it may feel extraordinarily difficult at the moment, in the end, your team will thank you.

Here is what I recommend: Use a whiteboard and make a big list of all the tasks looming on the horizon. Give each one a number from one to five in terms of its potential impact on your business, with one being the highest impact. Take all the ones and start making decisions based on importance, duration, sequencing, resources required, and short-term feasibility.

4.) Set up the right workflow when you delegate.

Nothing is more frustrating to an employee than getting a task delegated to them without having been given the appropriate authority, resources, people, time or autonomy to get the job done. Sometimes it can feel to them like they’re banging their head against a wall, which can quickly and easily lead to resentment and burn out.

So, when delegating, you’ve got to think through everything. How much responsibility can they handle? How much supervision will they need? How many instructions do you think you need to give up front so it actually relieves you from work? How often do you want to be updated on their progress? If there are multiple people involved, who reports to who, and who reports to you? By doing this brainwork up front, you’ll save a ton of time and headaches and prevent misunderstandings and unclear expectations.

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