13 Ways to Help Overworked Team Members Decompress

Team Stress Management

No matter how passionate or hardworking your team is, there will come a time when some (or many) of them will start to burn out. It can be difficult to reverse this burnout and morale dip once your staff has hit this point, so it’s important to be proactive and stop the trend before it goes too far. To help you find ways to help your team to de-stress, we asked Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) members the following question:

“If leaders notice their team feeling overworked, what’s an effective way to help them take a step back and decompress? In other words, what’s an immediate way to target burnout?”

Team Stress Management

Here’s what they had to say:

1. Rework Your Company’s Culture

“If your team’s overworked, it may be indicative of a sub-optimal work-life balance. This might be a good time for you to reset your company’s culture. Team building activities, R&R days and unlimited PTO are great perks, but they will not address the underlying root cause. I highly recommend reading “Rework” by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson to transform your workplace.” ~ Vishal Shah, Ledger & Tax

2. Host Team-Bonding Events and Outings

“Taking a step back away from the work and providing your team with an opportunity to relax doesn’t always lead to unproductiveness. Oftentimes, team-bonding events and outings will lead to a stronger impact on work efficiency than hours spent directly on a project.” ~ Jordan Edelson, Appetizer Mobile LLC

3. Lighten the Load in a Non-Disruptive Way

“Acknowledge your employees’ fatigue with empathy. It goes a long way. Then decide how to help them catch their breath in a way that’s not too disruptive. A late start on a Monday morning? A Friday afternoon off? A slight deadline extension? A reprioritization of work? Extra (temporary) resources? Look at a short-term fix and answers for the long term, so that short-term fixes don’t become the norm.” ~ Nitin Bindlish, Mom’s Belief

4. Show Genuine Concern and Listen to Their Feedback

“Don’t let your goals make you forget you can’t achieve them without your people. Show genuine concern and ask for emotional check-ins. Let your team know that you’re someone they can talk to — instead of letting their feelings simmer. When burnout happens, solve it together. Being able to give input and suggestions is a way to release frustration, find resolutions and give empowerment.” ~ Richard Fong, Bliss Drive

5. Recognize and Reward Hard Work

“If your team is feeling overworked, one of the easiest ways to help them take a step back is by recognizing their hard work. A simple ‘You’re doing a great job’ goes a long way. You can also reward their hard work as well. For instance, let your team know they’ve done an amazing job that day and let them go home early. This will make them feel appreciated and boost their mood instantly.” ~ John Turner, SeedProd LLC

6. Higher a Masseuse

“Do office yoga, hire a masseuse, create a spa day or just make sure you have frequent enough outings with your team so that they can check into a bigger company culture picture. Also be kind when it comes to days off and vacation time.” ~ Nicole Munoz, Nicole Munoz Consulting, Inc.

7. Offer Remote Work Opportunities

“If you want to fight burnout in your team, consider offering them remote work days. For instance, every Friday you could give employees the option of working from home. This will give them a change of scenery, eliminate the daily commute, allow them to create their own hours and enable them to work in a more relaxed manner. A day working from home each week will be refreshing for your team.” ~ Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

8. Take Them to Friday Happy Hours

“I have around 10 people working on my team, and whenever I see my team feeling overworked, I take them out for Friday happy hours. It always works. They feel excited and know that some appreciation is coming up. Good thing with Friday is that we all leave early and everyone can get home in time after happy hours. This has been working for me for the last five years.” ~ Piyush Jain, SIMpalm

9. Create a Comfortable Space to Decompress

“If there’s room in the office, use it to create space for your team where they can unwind and relax. It could be a place to talk to co-workers, read a book, eat lunch or just hang out during break time. What’s important is that no work goes on here and is solely for decompression purposes. That way, employees know they have a safe space at work to relax and de-stress.” ~ Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

10. Assess and Reassign Projects

“A leader must take responsibility for a team’s workload and set expectations accordingly. When sensing burnout, address the problem immediately by meeting with the employee and assessing their workload together. Take a look at whether what is on their plate is reasonable, consider if you have the resources necessary to meet expectations, and reassign projects or elements as necessary.” ~ Stephen Beach, Craft Impact Marketing

11. Encourage Group Work

“You take a lot of weight off your team’s shoulders when the work is evenly split. Sometimes it’s too much for one person to take on, and in this case, it helps tremendously to create teams to collaborate on projects so there’s less stress and a lighter workload.” ~ Chris Christoff, MonsterInsights

12. Make Break Time Mandatory

“Sometimes people are so results-driven and focused that they forget to take a break. If you notice that your employees routinely have lunch in front of the computer or work long hours every day, kick them out of the office. A person cannot stay on top of their performance and creative energy 24/7. The periods of work and rest must alternate, so make sure your teammates understand that.” ~ Solomon Thimothy, OneIMS

13. Ask How You Can Help

“If your team is feeling overworked, consider asking how you can help ease their burden. There are several ways you can help from a management perspective, but it’s all about getting your team to communicate their needs. Shouldering some of the weight can help your team members relax and get back into a productive state of mind.” ~ Syed Balkhi, WPBeginner

Image: Depositphotos.com

The Young Entrepreneur Council The Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world's most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched StartupCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.