How to Stop Your Staff from Burning Out in Lockdown

The third national UK lockdown may have officially begun on 5th January, but for many people, it will have felt much longer ago.

As well as coping with the intense, stressful 'stop-start' environment we currently live in, we are also trying to keep ourselves and our families fed, watered, motivated, and in some cases, educated from the kitchen table.

And as if all that wasn't bad enough, we've still got another long, dark month of winter in lockdown ahead.

In times like these, it is vital that employers provide an effective programme of support. Here are three ways to help your staff avoid burnout in February.

1. Offer a listening ear

Conversations with your people should not revolve solely around work, especially when some of them may not have spoken properly with another person in months.

Alongside the usual performance discussions, ensure your managers are checking in on an individual basis with their team members, asking them how they are personally, and providing any extra support that might be needed.

These are stressful times, so be aware that performance levels may dip slightly. This may mean managing customer expectations, or introducing contingency plans for your business operations.

2. Be as flexible as possible

Individual struggles will not be as visible now as they might have been when everybody worked in the same office.

With our reluctant acceptance of lockdown comes a clear danger of burnout from employees struggling with home schooling, or providing round-the-clock care, on top of a full-time work schedule.

The conversations you have with your employees should acknowledge their individual circumstances, so you can offer them as much compassion and flexibility as possible.

3. Set clear boundaries for work time

Reduce unnecessary pressure and feelings of guilt, by setting out your expectations of when staff should be working, and when they should log off.

You could go further, by making it clear that nobody will be penalised for not responding to emails during evenings and weekends, and by actively encouraging them to switch off.

If you'd like some more guidance, our expert team at Viridian HR is happy to help. Simply get in touch.

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