Course for managers | Prevent burnout in team

How to relieve stress and prevent burnout in your team

You now know what the first signs of stress are, and how to check-in once you spot them. But once you understand the underlying causes of stress in your team members, you then want to take targeted action to reduce stress as much as possible – and thus prevent burnout.


You can prevent stress by:

addressing the stress factors and, if possible, reducing their demands or workload

offering your team more support and resources


5 strategies to prevent workplace stress

1. Lead by Example

How do you manage your own stress levels? You set the example for a healthy work life-balance. So ensure you lead by example yourself; take breaks, days off and relax enough after work. Encourage your team to do the same: explicitly state that you do not expect people to skip lunch, work overtime, or answer emails after working hours.

2. Set clear roles and expectations

Determine clear responsibilities per function and per project. This prevents stress and conflicts because your team members knows exactly what is expected of them.

3. Help with priorities and time planning

During team meetings or 1-on-1, help everyone set the right priorities – and try to minimise overlap. Regularly evaluate your team’s workload during check-ins. Notice that someone has far too much on their plate? Then redistribute tasks or move a deadline.

4. Provide trust, flexibility and opportunities for growth

If you company is in a position to offer your team autonomy in areas such as hybrid/remote work, allow it: 


Flexibility: Offer your team flexible working hours with working from home, part-time or working from abroad. That way, you give employees more control over their work-life balance, and can save them a lot of stress. 

Growth opportunities: Help your team members to keep developing with new projects, goals to work towards, constructive feedback and/or external training.

5. Create a close-knit team culture

If your team members can rely on each other, it is easier to take over tasks from another when the workload increases. Work becomes a safe environment to discuss concerns, which reduces the risk of stress. So have lunch together or go for a walk after lunch. Organise a team-building activity to get to know each other better. Celebrate when you have achieved a success. And encourage cooperation, compliments, and having fun together!

Exercise: Reflection


1. How do you lead ‘by example’?

Take a few minutes to reflect on your own work habits and stress management approach. Are there things you can change to reduce your own stress? Think about how you can lead by example by demonstrating healthy habits in the workplace. 


2. Consider a team member who you think is at higher risk of stress. (If you can’t think of a team member, you can think of a friend or family member)

What are the risk factors?


Is there anything you can do to reduce, or eliminate, stress factors (the ‘demands’ from the model)? How can you strengthen the basics or ‘resources’?