We’ve just lived through the “Great Resignation” and many companies are still feeling the effects. Retention, burnout, company culture, and job satisfaction are all linked and inseparable. If you consider your companies client base, mitigating churn and building customer satisfaction aren’t just goals, they are company-wide initiatives. Is the same true for retaining your team? Keep scrolling for our core four solutions to building a healthy, stable workforce by halting burnout and increasing retention.
It’s much easier to fix a problem when it’s small so the first point we’ll make is to look at your existing team dynamics for signs of burnout.
These are the classics:
But they aren’t the only signs. Burnout can be something you see in a specific individual, or it can be a widespread feeling across your team.
In many online work models, unlimited PTO is part of the hiring package – but even if this is an available benefit an increase in sick days is an indicator of burnout – along with shortened hours of availability, and unusual delays in email response etc.
A glance at the above list might remind you of depression symptoms – and that’s a great way to think about burnout as burnout essentially means that your team has become off-balance.
In this case, prevention is about strategy. Your first inclination may be to create more meetings or events to promote company culture or team bonding – but meetings are often a huge culprit because they take up a lot of valuable time that your team will need to make up to complete tasks.
Step 1: Analyze your current meeting schedule, team-wide and per department, and streamline where possible.
Lack of creativity is another contributor.
Step 2: Look at your managers.
Creativity doesn’t come from hyper-managed teams, but you do still need to be able to manage effectively – the key here is clear documentation and well-outlined processes and flows. Make sure your product information and operations are accessible to your entire team, and then work to manage in a healthy way by clearly outlining expectations and letting your team thrive within the boundaries you set.
Burnout is all about extremes. We just talked about hyper-management but the opposite is no management or direction at all. Isolation, lack of communication, and lack of definition when it comes to tasks and responsibilities is a sure fire way to burn out your team, particularly your high performers, quickly.
Initially, isolation can feel like freedom, where a team or an employee feel like they have free reign to create and suggest goals – but this is never sustainable and is an indicator that you may need to revisit your internal structure.
Communication is the biggest proponent of preventing isolation – but it is a balancing act. As we said – you don’t want to get over zealous with meetings but regular check-ins and a strong internal leadership structure go a long way.
Who doesn’t love a high-performer? On every team there will be people that just get it and who are dedicated – and it can be easy to delegate tasks to these people without necessarily realizing how much you’re adding to their workload. The catch is that this type of worker will not always tell you when they are experiencing burnout.
Annual reviews are a standard practice, but quarterly or biannual reviews where your team has to take a look at the quantity of their workload can be a great way to give some perspective and help reign them in from overextending their time.
Company culture is perhaps the largest facet because it is a communication-based environment that – when done right – supports healthy work practices through halting burnout and increasing retention. “Company culture” is also a phrase that is getting thrown around a lot lately so let’s break it down:
Culture is the Maslov’s hierarchy of needs of the workplace – starting with essentials like benefits, salary, and time off. Creating a fair hiring package for full-time and contracted employees is a must. For contracted teams this means agreement on rates and terms, and clear definition of expectations.
We mentioned that having product and operations information for your team helps prevent burnout – and this should be provided from day one in the form of onboarding.
Make sure you have:
Consider team building a part of onboarding – allow teams to create hobby channels in your slack/Microsoft teams communications or set up optional cocktail hours or coffee chats. The point is to encourage cross-department communications as well as inter-dept. So incoming teams are aware of who they can reach out to as needed, (plus it can be fun).
Giving out T-shirts won’t solve all your problems, so this is really more about creating strong company branding and messaging. Your company identity and what your team associates that with are critical to building positive working relationships.
Messaging provides a reference to your team about how you talk about your products and services, it’s your opportunity to tell your story and get your team on your side; building loyalty and investment.
Not all of your team may be full-time, in fact, the workforce in general is becoming increasingly agile and there are several alternatives to FTEs. This can be intimidating, especially if you’ve invested in building a successful team culture. How do you bring contract workers into your environment?
This is where TECKpert can help. We are experts in connecting talented creators, developers, and professionals with companies – and we handle a lot of the vetting, scoping, and management for you. PLUS what better way to alleviate extra workload burning out your team than by bringing in task-based talent to lighten the load?
Reach out to us today to learn more about how creative solutions like agile teams can help you keep the team you’ve built.