The Role of a Team Leader in Burnout

Burnout has come to be a common word in today’s fast-paced work environments, becoming a growing issue affecting a lot of teams and individuals. While various factors contribute to burnout, leaders play a large role in reducing its impact. So, how can leaders foster a healthy workplace culture and combat burnout among their teams? 

Understanding Burnout: A Modern Workplace Challenge 

Burnout is more than just feeling tired or stressed at work. Symptoms of burnout include:  

  • Emotional exhaustion 
  • Decreased motivation and productivity 
  • Cynicism 
  • Impaired decision-making 
  • Reduced sense of accomplishment 
  • Heightened absenteeism 
  • Increased disengagement 

Aside from these symptoms, continued burnout can reduce trust and impact relationships within teams, causing damage to the sense of connection and engagement in an organisation. 

How Leaders Contribute to Burnout 

Leadership isn’t just about setting objectives and driving results; it’s about nurturing human potential and fostering environments where individuals can thrive. In the long list of leadership impacts, burnout is unfortunately present. The 2023 Australian Workplaces Survey reports that 63.6% of workers feel burnt out at work1. Through micromanagement, unclear/unrealistic expectations, and a lack of support, leaders can create a toxic work environment where team members feel disempowered, stressed, and disengaged. When leaders fail to prioritise employee wellbeing, they fuel a cycle of burnout, ultimately affecting team performance and organisational success. 

Strategies for Leaders to Combat Burnout 

As leaders, acknowledging the role we play in shaping the emotional landscape of our teams is the first step towards positive change. By embracing vulnerability and transparency, we can foster a psychologically safe work environment that encourages individuals to express their struggles and seek support, especially when feeling burnt out. Read our thought piece to find out what you can do to encourage psychological safety. Beyond this, consider the below strategies: 

  • Promote Open Communication: Encourage transparent, two-way communication and feedback channels where team members feel comfortable expressing their concerns and seeking support. 
  • Foster Work-Life Balance: Work-life balance is crucial to wellbeing. Encourage team members to take breaks, use their annual leave, and set boundaries between work and personal life. 
  • Provide Growth Opportunities: Invest in your team’s professional development by offering training programs, mentorship or coaching opportunities, and pathways for career advancement. At Corporate Edge, we can help you on your growth journey through our different programs. Reach out if you’d like to hear more.
  • Cultivate a Culture of Recognition: Recognise and appreciate team members’ contributions regularly through verbal praise, written commendations, and formal recognition programs. At Corporate Edge, we utilise Teamphoria as a platform to share recognition moments weekly. 

By fostering a culture of openness and vulnerability, leaders create spaces where authentic dialogue thrives, fostering trust and collaboration. Through these measures and a commitment to personal and professional growth, leaders can chart a path forward grounded in empathy, authenticity, and transformative leadership. 

Creating a Culture of Wellbeing 

Combatting burnout requires consistent, aligned effort from leaders to create a culture of wellbeing and support. By prioritising open communication, work-life balance, growth opportunities, and recognition, leaders can foster a healthy workplace where team members feel valued, empowered, and motivated to succeed. 

As we navigate the complexities of the modern workplace, let’s remember that the wellbeing of our team members is key. By investing in their wellbeing and creating a culture of care and support, we can build resilient teams and drive sustainable organisational success. Together, let’s nurture a healthy workplace where everyone can thrive. 

To learn more about our Wellbeing Program, click here! 

  1. The Wellbeing Lab, 2023, ‘The Australian Workplaces Survey: The Wellbeing & Burnout Challenge Insight #1’, 2023 Australian Workplace Survey, Available at: https://www.michellemcquaid.com/thewellbeinglab/2023research/#:~:text=While%2063.6%25%20of%20workers%20reported,How%20can%20this%20be%3F, 11 March 2024 

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