Today’s marketing departments are managing more than ever before. Because of the constantly connected nature of consumers, marketing departments often have to be on all the time as well.
A misplaced piece of content, a complaint on social media, or the need to respond to a press critique of your latest campaign can keep marketing talent in the office well past dinner, cut into weekends, and upend carefully planned vacations. Marketing burnout is real. What can you do to help prevent it?
Understand the Different Types of Burnout
While burnout can widely be described as an experience that leaves an employee feeling tired and disconnected, there are different types of burnout. By recognizing what your team is facing, you’ll be better able to identify the causes and propose workable solutions. Some common causes or types of burnout include:
- Exhaustion from heavy workloads
- The feeling of never being disconnected
- Emotional burnout due to stress or toxic environments
- Boredom from failure to be challenged or learn new skills
- Low morale based on negative interactions
- Feeling hopeless due to lack of advancement, low compensation, or related issues
Connect with Employees Regularly
Are you meeting with your employees on a weekly, or at least monthly, basis? It’s important to understand what they’re working on, whether they’re making progress toward their longer-term goals, and what their general mind-set and emotional state are. During your meetings, formally review their workload and performance—but make time for a more personal touch base as well. Investing a small amount of time in keeping a pulse on how your team is doing can help you identify the signs of burnout before it leads to poor performance or key employees leaving the company.
Be Aware of the Signs of Burnout
What does burnout look like? It can manifest differently in a range of employees, but there are some common symptoms of burnout that managers should be aware of. Look for employees who seem disengaged or disinterested in their work. Have you noticed any rapid declines in performance or output? Is an employee becoming frustrated or angry in a way that’s inconsistent with his or her personality? Have you noticed an increase in missed deadlines, paid time off (PTO) taken, or sick days? Any one of these signs—especially over the long term or in combination with other issues—can signal a growing problem with burnout.
Take Steps to Address the Problem
Are your key staffers showing signs of burnout? If so, take action as soon as possible. If you’ve identified the cause of the burnout and connected with them on a regular basis, chances are that you have a good idea of what’s wrong. For example, if your compensation is below market, it’s time to go to bat for them in terms of pay or a bonus. If a key staffer is bored, challenge her with a higher-level project. An employee who feels that his or her ideas or contributions aren’t being recognized needs some one-on-one attention.
Ultimately, some employees may burn out despite your best efforts. Yet it’s critical to keep department morale high and your best performers engaged by being aware of the signs of burnout and proactively taking the steps to prevent its impact on your company’s marketing team. Focusing on burnout as a key priority—and learning how to prevent it—can be your secret weapon to keeping high-performing, happy marketing staff over the long term.