Preventing Team Burnout

As a leader, one of your key responsibilities is guiding teams through change while keeping them engaged and productive. In normal times, 76% of employees experience burnout at least sometimes (Gallup). Add the stresses of this pandemic, there are added pressures of loneliness, overwhelm, lack of control and uncertainty. It is more important than ever that leaders do what they can to help teams prevent burnout. Gallup shows that in order to battle burnout, it is important to help employees find ways to feel inspired, motivated and supported. In light of this, here are 5 ways to support your team:


  • Managers account for up to 70% of variance in engagement (Gallup); your own engagement has significant impact on your team.
  • Acknowledge your own stress behaviour and what you need; think about your mindset and how you want to show up as a leader.
  • Seek out coaching and/or a thought-partner to help you with scenario-planning and bringing a balanced perspective.


  • Genuinely comment on what you see as truly difficult for each team member. Is it isolation; overwhelm with kids at home; job uncertainty; job pressure?
  • Ask what they need. Is it more connection with the team or more time with you? Flexibility on hours or help with prioritizing? An opportunity to vent?
  • Don’t assume you know what is needed and avoid the trap of treating all employees the same. This can result in efforts coming across as disingenuous.


  • Adopt a coach approach: help your team members think about what they need to feel inspired, motivated and supported.
  • Ask powerful questions to understand their ideas and where they need help from you and others.
  • Be curious about where they might be feeling stuck or where they feel they need to focus their energies in their role.


  • Communicate what is happening in the here and now; remember your team members are likely not privy to the same details as you and may take longer to adapt.
  • Bring team members into the conversation; be honest and transparent about what is known and not known; solicit their feedback.
  • Help your team members identify what is most important to focus on and ask for ideas on what you might be missing.


  • Think about what expectations of normal you can let go of and how you can help the team acknowledge that shift.
  • Look for ways to acknowledge small wins and focus on the efforts you see vs. simply rewarding short-term results.
  • Identify ways to connect virtually; establish and articulate new team norms.

For more information, please contact Liane Taylor, Practice Leader of Leadership & Career Engagement at The Talent Company [email protected]