5 Easy Ways to Give Your Employees Emotional Support (And Avoid End-of-Year Burnout)

Laurie Minott

Author

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Christmas traditions that are uniquely Filipino start as early as the calendar turns BER (e.g., September, October), and this has long signalled that a festive mood is about to start throughout the country. Although year-end rush in busy city thoroughfares may be something we can do without, we all hoped for a more mobile Christmas season than last year. Unfortunately, since the pandemic began, we have been in seemingly endless loops of lockdowns, and that hope, may not be near in sight, just yet.

Adding to the stress of the growing cabin fever, the pressures of year-end deliverables at work are not immune to us. The only silver lining is, we are not in this alone. Almost everyone in your company probably goes through these same challenges. Managers, team members, even company executives of different levels, all experience the pressure of the year-end season, and one way or another, they understand.

In this blog, we share ways on how we, with sincere empathy, can support each other during these very challenging times to avoid the year-end burnout and still have our own special Filipino way of having meaningful holidays.

Q4 is around the corner, and in the professional world, it announces burnout season. For employees in 2021, pandemic fatigue can team up with burnout for a double dose of mental drain.

Stress affects us all differently, and emotionally we’re all in different stages of dealing with this crisis.

How do we help each other, our employees and our company culture during this difficult and overwhelming time?

How to support employee well-being right now

1. Give each other a pass

An executive at a company I work with said, “We have to give ourselves, and each other, a ‘pass.’”

The “pass” they were referring to? It’s another way of saying we need to practice forgiveness in a variety of ways:

Work

•  Ask yourself this: do all of your tasks need to be completed right now? Or can it wait till the start of next year, when employees and clients will be in a better frame of mind?

Emotions

•  Give your colleagues and employees the benefit of the doubt

•  Internalize that everyone you interact with is struggling to work and live in this difficult time, and in ways we may never fully know or understand

•  Assume that everyone is acting from a place of good intentions; when someone acts in an atypical way toward you, avoid taking it personally

•  Show patience and compassion toward ourselves and others

2. Check in

My people leader kicked off a recent one-on-one conversation by just asking me how I was doing in the midst of all this.

It seems like such a small thing, but it was surprisingly helpful. As I started to talk with her, it became clear how much was occupying my thinking and my emotions. After just naming what was on my mind, I felt calmer, clearer and better able to focus on other things.

My manager didn’t try to fix anything – she just listened.

This is an easy gift all leaders can give their people, and it only takes a few minutes.

A more formal way to check-in is to send a pulse survey. Not only can an employee survey take the guesswork out of what is causing burnout, but it can also be less confrontational for employees who aren’t comfortable speaking up one-to-one.

3. Practice mindfulness and deep breathing

Before COVID-19, I went to New Jersey to meet with a client.

She had been running from meeting to meeting all day. When we sat down, she suggested we take 2 minutes before we started:

•  Close our eyes

•  Clear our minds

•  Take a few deep breaths

Research has shown that relaxation techniques like deep breathing counter our bodies’ response to stress, including work-related stress.

Starting or ending meetings with a few minutes of quiet time and deep breathing not only encourages self-care with your staff, it can also bring tangible relief to the stress we are all carrying right now.

4. Encourage gratitude

We live in a world where pain and tragedy dominate our news media. This is particularly true during times of crisis.

While we can’t control our colleagues’ media consumption habits, we can take small steps to try to positively influence everyone’s outlook.

Ending meetings by asking employees to share one thing they feel grateful for helps us pause our minds briefly to be present and appreciative. This temporary shift in focus can provide a well-needed infusion of positive vibes.

5. Remind employees to practice self-care

Under stress and nearing the end of the year, it’s natural to feel like we should be doing more, whether:

•  As a distraction from personal problems outside of work

•  Over stress of meeting end-of-year goals and targets

•  Out of fear that we’ll join the jobless ranks if we don’t do more than ever to show that we’re indispensable

Under the best of circumstances, many of us struggle to take care of ourselves, opting instead to worry and care for everyone else. These are not the best of circumstances, and it’s more important than ever to be sure we are taking time to care for ourselves.

When leaders encourage and model self-care, it gives employees permission to do the same. Let employees know:

•  In these circumstances, we are all going to be less productive

•  You want them to take breaks to exercise, give time and attention to their children and loved ones and get more rest

•  Ways you are practicing self-care

Your encouragement will go a long way to supporting this important need.

It’s time to check in on your employees’ mental health

Healthy workplaces keep track of their employees’ well-being through regular employee surveys. Ask us how our Trust Index™ survey can help you today. 

Laurie Minott

Author

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces™ in Asia by surveying over 1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting over 4.7 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2021 or early 2022.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

Great Place To Work identifies Best Workplaces in Asia™ by surveying 2.1 million employees in Asia and the Middle East about the key factors that create great workplaces for all and analyzing company workplace programs impacting 5.9 million employees in the region.

To be considered, companies must first be identified as outstanding in their local region by appearing on one or more of our Best Workplaces lists in Bahrain, Greater China (including China, Hong Kong and Taiwan), India, Indonesia, Japan, Kuwait, Oman, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, UAE, Vietnam during 2022 or early 2023.

Companies rank in three size categories: Small and Medium (10-499 employees); Large (500+); and Multinational. Multinational organizations are also assessed on their efforts to create great workplaces across multiple countries in the region. They must appear on at least two national lists in Asia and the Middle East and have at least 1,000 employees worldwide with at least 40% (or 5,000+) of those employees located outside the headquarters country.

For All™ Methodology

Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2023 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 450,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

For All™ Methodology

Great Place to Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2022 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 130,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Categories:
These organizations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

  • Small 10-99 Employees

For larger organizations with more than 100 employees, we also use our Culture Audit™ tool, asking organizations to share with us their practices, policies, and programs to create a great workplace For All™ and evaluate the approach they take.

  • Medium 100-999 Employees
  • Large 1000+ Employees

Why do you say in one place your national list scoring is based on 85%/15% and in another place that it is 75%/25%?

We are explaining two different things:
1.  The criteria we evaluate

  •  85% concerned with Trust and Maximizing Human Potential and
  • 15% concerned with everything else

2.  Where the data comes from

  • 100% Trust Index for organizations with less than 100 employees
  • 75% based on the Trust Index survey analytics and 25% based on responses to the Culture Audit for organizations with more than 100 employees.
For All™ Methodology

Great Place To Work, the global authority on workplace culture, determined the Philippines Best Workplaces™ 2023 List by conducting annual workforce studies through our Trust Index Survey™ and Culture Management platform Emprising®, representing the voices of over 450,000 employees across the Philippines.

Employees responded to over 60 survey questions describing the extent to which their organization creates a great place to work For All™, meaning that the company empowers all individuals to reach their full human potential. Eighty-five percent of the evaluation is based on what employees report about their experiences of trust and reaching their full human potential as part of their organization, no matter who they are or what they do. We analyze these experiences relative to each organization’s size, workforce makeup, and what’s typical in their industry and region. The remainder of the evaluation is an assessment of all employees’ daily experiences of the company’s values, people’s ability to contribute new ideas, and the effectiveness of their leaders to ensure they’re consistently experienced.

To ensure surveys truly represent all employees, we require enough people in each organization to respond that results are accurate to a 95% confidence level and 5% margin of error or better. We review any anomalies in survey responses, news, and financial performance to ensure there aren’t any extraordinary reasons to believe we couldn’t trust a company’s survey results.

Categories:
These organizations’ assessment is based 100% on employee responses to the Trust Index survey.

  • Small 10-99 Employees

For larger organizations with more than 100 employees, we also use our Culture Audit™ tool, asking organizations to share with us their practices, policies, and programs to create a great workplace For All™ and evaluate the approach they take.

  • Medium 100-999 Employees
  • Large 1000+ Employees