Tech professionals are always at risk of burning out due to the high-pressure nature of the work. More than any other department in a typical organization, it is your IT team that works late, receives calls after hours, has their vacations interrupted and never quite “checks out” when they leave the office. Burnout leads to disengagement, poor productivity, decreased morale, and ultimately, turnover. As the new year approaches, consider these strategies for eliminating burnout on your team.
Make Small Changes
There is evidence to support that even a small change in routine, even if it is unrelated to work, can help a person’s mind break the burnout cycle. You can kick the new year off by making small changes for your team like:
- Rearranging the seating chart to give people a change of scenery.
- Implementing a mandatory break time at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Have everyone stop what they are doing and move around for ten minutes.
- Changing your weekly staff meeting time to a different hour or day.
- Reassigning tasks so you can give team members something “new” to do.
Help Employees Achieve Better Balance
Lack of work-life balance is a major contributor to burnout among tech pros. This year, commit to helping your team achieve better balance through policies and strategies that will give your team more freedom without sacrificing productivity. Consider:
- Assigning each team member a backup buddy. When one buddy is out sick or on vacation, their out-of-office message should direct people to the backup. Make it mandatory for internal employees to contact that backup.
- Implement flexible scheduling. You don’t have to let employees come and go as they please, but you can allow them some flexibility. For example, instead of making 9 a.m. the mandatory start time, allow employees to start anywhere from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m., as long as they work a full shift.
- Allow occasional telecommuting. Give employees one day a week or a few days per month to work from home.
Not every member of the team has the same workload at the same time. When someone has too much on their plate, sit down with them and determine which tasks can be delegated to someone else with more time or even better skills in that area. Managers will have to stay on top of their team’s workflow in order to properly delegate because many people can be reluctant to ask for help. With encouragement and practice, however, delegation can make a huge difference in employee stress levels.
Engage in Strategic Staffing
Keeping your team fully staffed and augmenting that fully staffed team during periods of high demand can virtually eliminate burnout among your technical staff. This year, get proactive when it comes to hiring, recruiting and staffing and develop a plan to stay ahead of demand, rather than reacting to it.
If you are looking for ways you can augment your existing team to prevent burnout, the award-winning team at Talon can help. Contact us today to learn how we can help you keep your team productive and engaged this year.