How to help your remote junior employees avoid burnout
The chances of your most valuable team members suffering burnout are climbing, so as a manager you need to know how to help your junior employees stay happy and avoid burnout.
But first it’s important to know what the stakes are and how to identify burnout in your junior employees.
Burnout can turn your most productive and energetic team members into your biggest nightmares.
Here’s how to spot an employee in need of some extra care:
- They seem disengaged or apathetic.
- Their mood has shifted and they’re now more prone to being stressed, anxious and angry.
- They’re taking uncharacteristic absences or sick leave.
When it’s too late, they will eventually leave your company. So it’s important you act fast.
10 Actionable tips to help your junior employees avoid burnout
From onboarding and training to leading from the top, here are 10 tips for you to use in helping your junior employees avoid burnout.
1 – Take onboarding seriously
First impressions can have a big impact, so it’s vital that you take onboarding seriously. This is especially true for juniors who haven’t worked all that much before. They might have more adjusting to do, so please take the time to ease them into their new role slowly.
When onboarding is disorganised and basically nonexistent, it can be really overwhelming for your new hires. They could be left with basic questions about their role and your company and ultimately get off to an unnecessarily slow start.
When you don’t put time and effort into onboarding, your employees don’t know their value. They don’t know how important their role is, what’s expected of them and where to turn for help.
If you want to organise a comprehensive and fun onboarding to help your new hire hit the ground running, try out our free downloadable Onboarding Checklist!
2 – Train up!
Leading on from the onboarding, training is vital for juniors.
Your new hires need to be given the tools they need to succeed. Don’t just expect them to know how to do everything!
When your junior employees aren’t given the proper training, anything they don’t know is overwhelming. And if they don’t know how to tackle 50% of what’s on their plate, half of their time with you will be stressful.
And if this isn’t addressed in the first few months, burnout can come on quickly.
3 – Probation periods
When done right, probation periods can be a great way to foster open communication between you and your employees.
A probation meeting every month can help you assess the needs of your hires, check up on them and see if they need any extra training. You can set new targets and schedule upcoming projects together.
It’s easy to forget that probation meetings are valuable, but managers that take advantage of them will see increased engagement and productivity from their employees.
If you need any help organising your probation review meetings so you can get the best results, our free downloadable Probation Review Worksheet will help you get set up for success.
4 – Stick to set hours
Unless you’re a doctor or a fireman, you shouldn’t feel like you’re constantly on call. And your employees shouldn’t feel like this too.
If your remote team are consistently working overtime for no reason, it’s time to stop and think why.
If your employees have to overwork and overcommit to get their work done, they might have too much on their plates. And when they feel like they have to consistently work overtime to please their boss, your workplace culture and leadership are failing.
Working overtime every week because you feel like you have to is one of the quickest ways to burnout.
5 – Make work dynamic
Juniors can end up with a lot of boring admin work on their plates every day. And this kind of spreadsheet filling, call answering work tends to be unfulfilling for most people.
When your work is boring, unchallenging and unfulfilling, it gets old fast. You don’t feel a sense of accomplishment, see the effects of your hard work or often get any recognition at all.
So whether you’re working with an intern or a full-timer, their work should be a little bit interesting and challenging.
6 – Promote taking breaks
Among startup founders and CEOs, there are two major camps you can fall into. Hustle culture CEOs or everyone else.
And no matter which camp you fall into, you probably know that the endless grind often leads to burnout.
Leading from the top is very powerful. So if you schedule in regular breaks, come offline at normal times and don’t work through your lunch, hopefully your employees will feel like they can too.
And well rested employees are happy employees.
7 – Schedule in some social time
This one is especially important if you’re working remotely.
When we work with a remote team, we feel less connected and more alone. This can lead to people not reaching out for help when they need it.
And on top of this, socialising in the office is one of the best parts of working! Most of us actually need to talk to people to feel like real, happy human beings.
We work remotely at DigitalGrads and have recently started scheduling in ‘obligatory fun’. This is an hour or so in the workday where we all hop on a Zoom call and have a coffee or a beer and chat.
It does wonders for the team!
8 – Try to listen
Nothing makes your employees feel more alone than not being listened to. It’s important to value every employee’s opinion and take it into account.
But beyond this, have conversations with your team members. They don’t just work for you, they work with you.
So if you want to catch early signs of burnout and counteract them, it’s worth really listening and ruminating on anything noteworthy your employees say.
They might be having problems at home, with work or with another employee. And you might be able to help.
9 – Show some appreciation
I’ve already briefly touched on appreciation, but I want to come back to it.
When you’re doing the same job for months, your sense of achievement and satisfaction can begin to change. People can begin to be unhappy with their progress and feel down when they don’t hit high targets.
As a boss, it’s your job to stop and smell the roses every once and a while.
A word of gratitude or a small celebration for company-wide achievement can work wonders. Hopefully this will shift some self-doubt and make your whole team celebrate individual wins.
10 – People first, productivity second
What all of these tips come down to is a simple point: caring for your team is your top priority.
When your employees are feeling fulfilled and validated, productivity will just come. At least, that’s the idea.
I’d recommend emphasising that you care in every meeting, phone call and workday you can. Check up on your team members, conduct reviews and keep assessing your management style.
Leadership is a tricky task, but hopefully these tips will help you support your junior employees and avoid burnout among your team members.
If you’re ready to put your management skills to the test, why not hire another junior? DigitalGrads will help you make hiring simple so that you can focus on the important stuff.