Being a manager comes with a set of unique challenges and responsibilities. While the role can be rewarding and fulfilling, it also carries the risk of burnout. As a manager, you are often tasked with juggling multiple responsibilities, handling difficult situations, and leading your team to success. This juggle, along with other factors, is what makes managers even more susceptible to burnout.
According to research conducted by Gallup, burnout among managers is a prevalent issue in today’s workplaces. Their study found that managers are at a higher risk of burnout compared to individual contributors. This is particularly problematic when you consider that successful businesses depend on effective managers. In fact, our 2023 research showed that the number one thing that women say they need to thrive at work is support from their manager, with 84% deeming it essential. Yet when a manager is burnt out, their ability to offer that support to their team is severely limited. It’s therefore essential to look at ways that we can support managers and reduce their risk of burnout.
In this article, we go through 4 factors that contribute to management burnout as well as 5 strategies you can use to prevent it or manage the symptoms on your road to recovery.
Understanding Management Burnout:
Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It is characterised by feelings of cynicism, detachment, and a sense of being overwhelmed. As a manager, your risk of burnout is often amplified due to the high-pressure nature of your role.
4 Factors Contributing to Management Burnout:
- Workload: Managers often have heavy workloads that include overseeing projects, handling employee issues, attending meetings, and managing deadlines. The sheer volume of responsibilities can lead to chronic stress and burnout.
- Emotional Demands: Dealing with a diverse range of personalities, conflicts, and emotions within a team can be emotionally draining. Managers are often responsible for resolving conflicts, providing support, and maintaining a positive work environment.
- Lack of Support: Insufficient resources, inadequate training, and a lack of support from higher management can leave managers feeling overwhelmed and unsupported in their role. This can contribute to burnout over time.
- Unrealistic Expectations: Managers may face pressure to meet unrealistic targets and deadlines. Striving for continuous success without considering the impact on their wellbeing can lead to burnout.
5 Strategies to Prevent and Manage the Symptoms of Burnout:
- Delegate and Empower: Recognise that you don’t have to do everything on your own. Delegate tasks to capable team members and empower them to take ownership. This not only reduces your workload but also helps in developing your team members’ skills and confidence. You might also like to read our article – How to deal with overwhelm.
- Set Boundaries: Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life. Avoid constantly checking emails or taking work-related calls during your off-hours. Allow yourself to disconnect and recharge outside of work.
- Seek Support: Reach out for support from mentors, peers, or a professional coach who can provide guidance and help you navigate challenges. Sharing your concerns and experiences with others can alleviate stress and provide fresh perspectives.
- Prioritise Self-Care: Make self-care a priority by setting aside time for activities that recharge you. This can include exercise, hobbies, spending time with loved ones, or simply taking breaks throughout the day to relax and rejuvenate. The Intentional Wellbeing Module of our Women Rising program, encourages women to build up their restoration toolkit. This is just one helpful way to prioritise your self-care and wellbeing.
- Foster a Supportive Work Environment: Encourage open communication, teamwork, and employee wellbeing within your team. By creating a positive work culture, you can reduce stress levels and foster a sense of belonging and support.
Remember, your health and wellbeing isn’t worth compromising for the sake of your role as a manager. You are worth the time and energy to invest in yourself and get the support you need.