How do you keep your high performer from burning out in YOUR work environment?
There are many consultants out there trying to help you have a high performance team. This isn’t what your high performers need. They are naturally going to perform. It’s innately who they are.
What they need to learn is to create balance in their work environment so they can continue to perform consistently. That’s where the leadership comes in.
High performers are invaluable to your company.
You know this and you want to retain them.
High performers are good at what they do – they strive for excellence. They often get more tasks delegated to them because they’ll somehow produce and get it done.
They even volunteer to do more because it helps them feel more successful. They’re the ones that will pick up the slack of other team members who are not optimally performing (I like to call these workers the mooches of the high performers).
And high performers see what needs to get done and they do it.
They will try and do it all, it’s what they naturally do.
But eventually they will hit their breaking point.
You may recognize this as someone being forced to take sick leave because of an acute illness, sustaining an injury, personal reasons that impact the quality of their work and ultimately burnout aka stress leave.
Because your high performer will be forced to take time away from work to heal and they are inherently driven, they will hit their breaking point more than once until they realize how to create a sustainable work/life balance.
As a Spiritual Medium and Energy Strategist, I know what is driving your high performer to overwork until they reach burnout. I’ve driven myself to burnout twice in my career, because that’s what high performers do when they’re not in balance.
2 Causes for High Performer Burnout in the Work Environment
Part of the problem is what I call their Success Wound™, their endless drive to do more, where they prove their worth and more. And this WILL push them to their breaking point.
It’s also the work environment that encourages a high performer to overwork and burnout.
I can talk to high performers all day about what to do to create sustainable work/life balance, but part of what has to change is in the work environment.
How to STOP Burnout in the Work Environment
Step 1 – Recognize your high performers.
Stop letting them overwork and not compensating them more than the other workers for it. This is what leads to them feeling bitter and resentful and moving to another company.
Give them credit for going above and beyond, rewards for taking on extra tasks. You can give them extra vacation time or personal days, a company trip or bonuses for all that they’ve done.
Make them feel seen, heard and appreciated. They need this from the company and their leaders. They’re actively looking for recognition. Give it to them. They are your best performers and you want them to stay and be healthy.
Step 2 – Stop overworking them.
I don’t know a single high performer whose workload is doable. This is why they overwork, to get it done. It can’t be done in their typical work hours, so they have to come in early, work late and work through lunch. Please stop.
You know that their workload is already full. If you give them more to do because you know they’ll do it, this is part of the problem that leads them to burnout. This doesn’t just happen one time. It’s every week, for months with no end in sight.
I’ve had clients tell me,”It’s just until we hire my replacement that I have to do both jobs.” Or, “They can’t find anyone to help me, so I have to get it done.”
My high performing clients are getting more tasks and assignments that aren’t possible to complete in their set work hours. This isn’t the high performers problem that you’re short staffed or the other workers aren’t doing their work. But overworking and taking on all this extra work is how they burnout.
Step 3 – Honor their time AWAY from work. They need to recharge. They give 200% at work everyday and often still check emails and messages in their off hours – because you give it to them. STOP.
You pay them to work certain hours and they work really hard for you. Encourage them to not check company emails and messages by NOT sending them. Let them rest and recharge in their not scheduled work time so they continue to have the energy and health to be the high performers that they are.
Create the Change for Your High Performers in the Company Culture
We like to blame the high performer for burning out:
They didn’t know when to stop working.
They love to overwork.
We were surprised to hear their marriage fell apart?
We were surprised to hear they were struggling with alcohol.
We offer them beverages, snacks and even lunch.
This is bigger than the high performer and their Success Wound.
If you look at the company culture, how do you encourage your high performer to overwork? How many of your high performers are sick, have relationship problems or even worse – don’t have a life outside of work.
The high performers will perform. They are innately driven by their Success Wound.
As a balanced high performer that helps other high performers create a sustainable work/life balance, we have to address the problems in the work environment that encourage and expect this overworked and over driven behavior to their literal breaking point.
High performers are your most valuable and innovative workers. You want to retain them at your company and you don’t want to pay for sick leave due to burnout.