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Tips for Better Burnout Prevention Conversations

Updated: Mar 31, 2023

Most leaders don’t know how to initiate a burnout prevention conversation with employees.

Here are some tips to make it easier.

  • Acknowledge anything that might be causing employees to feel stressed, overwhelmed, or crispy, (i.e., resource shortages, challenges with a project and recent or frequent changes).

  • Tell your story: Recall a time when you were under a lot of stress.

    • Tell them how you felt,

    • What did you do at the time,

    • Tell them how you want them to handle it if they are feeling perpetually under stress (i.e., “I want you to come and talk to me about it. Let’s figure it out together.”.

  • End with letting them know that you are committed to helping them not go through what you went through.

  • Use language that makes talking about burnout less threatening: Say, “ I know that there are times when we all might be feeling a little toasted. My job is to make sure that you are not heading towards being burnt crispy”. So from time to time, I will ask you how your feeling. Feel free to use the crispy meter to tell me how you are feeling.

  • Make checking in with employees about work-related “pebbles in their shoes” a part of your one-to-one conversations by asking. “What challenges are you facing?” or “What work related things are keeping you up at night?”

  • Engage employees in a empowering discussion by asking, “what have you already tried?” “what do you think needs to happen next?” “How can I help?”

  • Follow up with them to see how things are going and what else might be needed.

Pick one of these tips to try out.

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