Are you constantly troubleshooting, coding, and developing new systems? If so, you’re not alone – the IT industry is essential to the success of many organizations, and IT teams are often the backbone of these operations. However, the high-pressure, fast-paced nature of IT work can take its toll on even the most dedicated and passionate team members. In fact, a report by assessment platform Yerbo found that 2 in 5 of IT workers surveyed are at a high risk of burnout.
As an IT leader, it’s important to be able to recognize the signs of burnout in your team and take action to prevent and mitigate it. In this blog post, we’ll discuss six tell-tale signs of burnout in your IT team, as well as strategies for addressing it and fostering a positive, healthy work environment.
6 tell-tale signs of burnout in your IT team
As an IT leader, it’s crucial to recognize the signs of burnout in your team so that you can take action before it’s too late.
1. High turnover rates
If you’re experiencing high turnover rates, it could be a sign that your team is feeling overworked and overwhelmed. HR leaders point to burnout and stress are negatively impacting retention rates.
2. Productivity is suffering
When people experience burnout, it can be difficult for employees to focus on tasks at hand, so it can be a struggle keep up with the demands of their job. This can be anything like missing deadlines or a dip in the quality of how they execute their tasks.
3. Absenteeism on the rise
It’s estimated that 550 million workdays are lost each year due to stress, according to the American Psychological Association. So, if you notice that team members are calling in sick more frequently than before, there’s a possibility that they’re feeling burnt out and need time to recharge.
4. Errors or mistakes becoming commonplace
When people have too many things on their plates, it can be easy to miss things that can lead to errors and mistakes. If you’re noticing an increase in such errors or mistakes, there’s a possibility that your team is struggling to keep up with their workload.
5. Increase in complaints or cynicism
If your team is complaining more or expressing cynicism towards their work or colleagues, it may be a sign of burnout. It’s easy to fall into a negative mindset when people are feeling stressed and overwhelmed. This can then show up as irritability or cynicism at the workplace.
6. Rise in physical symptoms
Burnout can also lead to physical symptoms such as headaches, insomnia, and digestive problems. Various studies have found that job burnout is associated with a range of physical health problems, including cardiovascular disease and musculoskeletal disorders.
What can IT leaders do to combat burnout in their teams?
While a common issue, if left alone for too long, burnout can have serious consequences for both the individual and the organization. Here are some actionable steps you can take to combat burnout in your team.
1. Prioritize work-life balance
Encourage your team to maintain a healthy work-life balance by setting realistic expectations for work hours and deadlines. Promoting taking time off, discouraging checking work emails outside of working hours or introducing flexible working arrangements are just some of the things you can do.
2. Foster a positive work environment
Create a positive work culture where your team feels valued, respected, and supported. It’s important that your team feels help is there when they need it, otherwise, they can feel isolated and overwhelmed. This makes it easy to fall into that negative outlook mentioned earlier.
3. Provide adequate resources
When there’s already so much work to be done, the last thing you’d want is something you need to do the job isn’t working properly. Ensure that your team has access to the tools, training, and support they need to do their job effectively. And if something does unexpectedly break down, like a laptop for example, it’s important that the right processes are in place to get it fixed or replaced.
4. Set realistic expectations on projects
Avoid overloading your team with unrealistic workloads. IT managers also have a lot going on, so when delegating tasks, it can sometimes be easy to miss what the actual workload of your team looks like.
5. Encourage self-care
Encourage your team to take breaks, exercise, and engage in other self-care activities to reduce stress and promote wellbeing. If your organization has employee wellbeing programs or resources, make sure your team’s aware of them and can access when needed.
6. Empower team members
Give your team members autonomy and ownership over their work to promote a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. This can be a great motivator, enabling them to focus and feel that they’re making positive contributions in their work.
7. Communicate effectively
Maintain open and transparent communication with your team to build trust and address issues before they escalate. Sometimes the stressful periods can’t be helped, whether that’s a big system rollout deadline coming up or a lot of service requests coming from different parts of the business. It’s important that despite that, continuous conversations with the team is going on, so you can tackle any concerns and challenges that arise.
8. Provide opportunities for growth
Providing opportunities for growth could be in the form of training programs, workshops, conferences, or mentoring programs. These opportunities allow team members to develop new skills, learn new technologies, and grow in their roles. When team members feel that they are developing and growing in their careers, they are less likely to experience burnout.
9. Lead by example
The most convincing way for you to curb burnout is to lead by example. IT leaders must set the tone for a healthy work-life balance, encourage open communication, and show empathy towards their team members. When team members see that their leaders value their own wellbeing as well as their teams’, employees are more likely to feel supported, and this can reduce burnout.
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IT teams often face a heavy burden in their daily operations, with multiple tasks to manage, and ensuring everything runs smoothly can be challenging.
We understand the importance of keeping your IT operations running smoothly and efficiently while also ensuring that your team is not overburdened. With IFS assyst, your IT team can focus on high-priority tasks, improving their overall efficiency and helping them focus on work that really matters.
Contact us today to learn more how IFS assyst can enable a better way of working for your IT team.