To Reduce Burnout on Your Team, Give People a Sense of Control

There’s no question or debate that workplace stress levels are at critical levels and are escalating. The American Institute of Stress (AIS) reveals that 80% of us feel stress on the job and almost half say they need help in managing that stress. The StressPulse survey by ComPsych, an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) provider, shows the main causes of that stress are: 1) workload (36%); 2) people issues (31%); 3) balancing professional and personal lives (20%); and 4) job security (8%).

Team dynamics directly affect a whopping 92% of what causes the most stress. Being part of a team can be a quick road to disappointment, frustration, and burnout, especially when some team members work harder than others, when some are on time and others are consistently late, when there’s drama and tension resulting from gossip, and when team leaders play favorites.

Managers must take the time to bring their teams together and collectively create a set of agreements that form a team charter. Unclear and therefore often unmet expectations set teams up for failure. Agreements, on the other hand, set the team up for success, fulfillment, and most importantly, a sense of control.

The charter should include these basic foundational tenets:

  1. I agree to be on time, realizing everyone’s time is limited and extremely valuable.

  2. I agree to show respect to every other member of the team and give them the benefit of the doubt.

  3. I agree to give my best effort in accomplishing every task, the team’s mission, and our shared purpose.

  4. I agree not to engage in any gossip about my team members and to put a stop to it if I encounter it.

  5. I agree to communicate early and often pertaining to any time off needed for my personal life.

  6. I agree to handle disputes, perceived offenses, or conflicts with dignity and professionalism.

To read the full article from Andrew Wittman, please click here.

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