3 Ways to Lead Your Team Away from Burnout & Into Energy & Enthusiasm

Posted June 17, 2020

4 min read

Preventing burnout is a challenge for any business leader. It is not a phenomenon unique to funeral service. But right now, it is especially important for funeral service professionals to take action to keep their teams energized and enthusiastic.

Here are 3 strategies to consider.

Problem #1: Employees may be feeling overwhelmed.

Solution #1: Shift to a coaching mentality.

One of the top stressors right now can be a constant feeling of being overwhelmed. Be sure you are checking in with staff to gauge their level of commitment and resilience.

It is also a time when it might be beneficial to shift into the role of a coach. People need a trusted, safe person with whom they can have open conversations. Coaching, rather than supervising, allows for those important conversations to happen. Consider these coaching topics for your team (or your peers):

  • Discussions about their well-being
  • Conversations about behavioral changes they may be experiencing
  • Sharing their schedules with an openness to flexibility, if desired
  • Reflecting on what’s working and on what isn’t
  • Exchanging ideas and opportunities
  • Teaching and advice-sharing
  • Problem-solving and collaboration
  • Clarification of expectations
  • Constructive accountability
  • Forward-looking planning

During these informal conversations, be open to asking the question, “What am I missing?” It’s a simple but powerful question, that can give people the opportunity to speak up and share concerns or problems.

Problem #2: Emotional fatigue.

Solution #2: Encourage positive action to avoid burnout.

One of the problems with chronic stress or burnout is that people take pride in what they perceive as being “mentally tough.” This mindset, although admirable in the short-term, can be detrimental to the funeral home’s work culture, the health of individuals and the long-term success of the business. Be contagious in the funeral home in setting positive examples about avoiding and dealing with burn-out.

Instead of adopting the idea of, “You know what you got into,” make sure your culture embraces the idea that people should take care of their own mental health and well-being on a day-to-day basis. Make small manageable changes to mitigate emotional fatigue - before it is too late – and someone feels inclined to walk away from your business or the profession.

Dr. Jason Troyer, PhD CT, a noted psychology professor, author, former counselor, grief researcher, speaker, and consultant for funeral service, captures this very idea, saying emotional fatigue and burnout are very real, but there are proactive steps you can take. Being aware of emotional fatigue is part of why military, first responders, federal agencies, and law enforcement all take emotional fatigue seriously, since they know it is a threat at all times. “I want funeral directors to really focus on the fact that avoiding burnout is an ongoing battle. It’s something you need to attend to all the time,” he explains.

Problem #3: Physical fatigue.

Solution #3: Take steps to ensure employees are well-rested.

Consider the types of health and wellness actions and programs available to employees during difficult times. Create a list of conventional actions employees “must take” to be as rested and strong as possible. Can you set aside time to create a team list? Another example: consider how you are handling after-hour calls and removals. Interacting with each other during the day plus adding in families, hospitals, hospice, and vendors creates a level of normal stress and fatigue. Now compound that by lack of sleep and a business that runs 24/7. What can you do differently?

Your phones are extremely important, and you always want your best communicators on them. But, what about right now? Can you consider alternatives to having your best communicators answer the phone 24/7?

Over-commitment and lack of time often result in poor decisions about nutrition. Donuts and fast food may be great tasting, but they lack vital nutrients your team needs to perform a job that asks them to be enthusiastic and engaged 24/7. What actions can you take to help nurture your team?

Equip Your Teams to Be More Productive

In conclusion, be intentional about minimizing stress at work. Gallup Polls recently noted: “Burnout is a growing problem that leaders need to take seriously. Its prevention requires manager and organizational alignment – because employees are less likely to experience burnout when their holistic workplace needs are met 1.”

CRäKN is a productivity tool that lessens burnout. Its features promote communication, collaboration, and coordination. CRäKN allows your staff to share real-time updates and details for every arrangement, no matter where they are located – at work, home, or play. CRäKN’s management tools will also save you more than 3 hours per case. Learn more about how CRäKN can improve your daily communication, collaboration, and coordination.

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