March 2, 2020
Rebecca East

Don’t let your star players burn out

Every business has one. The team player, the problem solver, the multitasker. That person who gets things done, whatever the task. The one who is always willing to go the extra mile and never seems to say no.

People like this are brilliant – but be warned. They might always seem happy to chip in, but do you really know what they’re thinking and feeling about their role? Do they struggle to say no? Is their increasing workload and stretched responsibility having an impact on their wellbeing? When will it affect their performance?

Reliability is a wonderful trait, but there’s only so much one person can juggle before something gets dropped. Often, when people like this are feeling the pressure, they struggle on in silence until they reach breaking point – a missed deadline, a week off work, a resignation letter that could so easily have been avoided...

So, how does an unmanageable workload happen? Are they facing internal pressure from their team? Are they a natural over-achiever? Is saying ‘yes’ a work habit they can’t break?

The truth is, the situation is different for every individual. But you won’t be able to address the issue unless you understand the root cause.

And the only way you can do that is by adopting a people-centric approach to managing.

With these ‘star players’, problems build over time. Some can sustain what, to most people, would be an untenable workload for months, even years, before they finally hit a wall. If their managers aren’t engaging with them effectively – and regularly – pressure can simmer under the surface, unchecked. To address the issue properly, they need structured one-to-ones that get to the heart of the issue as it’s happening – not after you’ve experienced the fallout. It needs the right conversations to happen at the right time.

Let’s look at it this way. A flippant ‘is everything ok?’ from a manager will not get the same response as a more targeted ‘how capable and motivated are you to deliver this work on time? Or ‘ how and where do you need support to deliver this work on time?’ during a meeting. Nor will a retrospective annual review meeting, congratulating the employee on the past year’s successes, recognise a potential burn-out further down the line.

Routine one-to-one engagement gives employees an opportunity to discuss issues before they become problems – but managers need to ask questions that instigate honest, open dialogue. A people-centric performance management platform like OpenBlend can coach and support managers through this process, providing a clear structure that makes leading and responding in one-to-one meetings simple.

By providing a tool to track results, both managers and talent are given full accountability: these aren’t just conversations to be forgotten, but actionable plans that can make sure your star players are getting the support they need to keep shining.

Find out how OpenBlend has helped businesses including Lacoste, Avios, Mediacom and more to benefit from a people-first approach to talent management and retention: call us on 01628 613040 or email hello@openblend.com.

 

James
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