As a society, we are asking, perhaps more than ever, “How can we get more done, in less time, and with fewer and fewer resources?”
Even with the advent of AI, humans still feel the pressure of doing more and yet knowing it is never quite “enough.”
There are times when asking that question is healthy and lends itself to new ideas; but there are times when asking that question can grind your team into a state of burnout.
A good leader knows what time it is.
Leaders are not exempt from the need for recovery. Business leaders and managers have been shouldering added complexities and uncertainties in recent years. While they have done this admirably, it has taken a toll on them mentally and physically, just as it has affected their people.
Overall statistics show that nearly half of today’s workforce reports being exhausted and overwhelmed. They face a great deal of external stress that started with the pandemic and quickly bridged into financial stress.
How can you create a Recovery Zone for yourself and your team?
Focus on Intervals
The 12-Week Year pays homage to the idea of creating a pattern of work “sprints” where you are focused on productivity in 12-week periods. The author discusses how this shifting of focus can create better results. The reason is because it creates periods of productivity and periods of recovery. You need this. Your team needs this. This doesn’t mean the work stops and everyone goes on vacation every quarter (though it could); but it does mean there is a time after a major initiative to refocus on finishing the project well and then having a lighter workload period for a few hours or a few days. This creates a necessary recovery zone. It is also healthy for the business because it ensures that processes are completed and documented, and, thus, it eliminates the future chaos that comes from unclosed loops.
Focus on Strengths
If there was ever a time to help your people work in their strengths zone, this is it. This creates greater efficiency for the company and lessens the stress on your people. It also has the effect of energizing your team when each person is working in their strengths zone. For an exhausted team, this can be a key recovery zone. Think about it. Do you really want your team forcing themselves to do work they truly, innately, hate to do and, quite frankly, are not good at? Or do you want them to work in their area of true strengths so they can bring their best work forward each day, and gain energy from it?
Focus on Communication
Make it a point to know your people and communicate with them as individuals. John Maxwell says it often, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Do you care about each person on your team? Do your communications convey caring and considerate leadership?
Focus on Culture
It is important to create a culture of connection. It is human nature to need to feel that what we are doing is helping the greater good, and to know that we are contributing to a worthy cause. Even the most C-wired introverts need to have some level of connection to others and to purpose. Are you creating a place of connection for your team, where each person knows the team (and you as the leader) have their back? Do your people know their contribution matters, not only to the company, but to the mission? Do they even know what the mission is?
Focus on Physical Needs
In some arenas, sadly, people are having to choose between eating and paying the rent or mortgage on the home that shelters their family. How can you help them in this area? Are pay increases being addressed at healthy levels? Could your company supply meals during the day? Is schedule flexibility possible in order for them to lessen childcare costs?
The Recovery Zone is all about going back to basic needs, and these are some of those key needs.
What will you do this month to help yourself and your team find your recovery zone?
As the CEO of Strength Leader Development, Deb Ingino is a highly sought-after international executive mentor, coach, trainer, and speaker. Deb is well versed in global business operations and helps business leaders and their teams to discover and leverage their strengths, so they can create highly collaborative teams that deliver great results. With a refreshingly direct style, and using the Maxwell Method, Deb helps leaders and teams to deliver profitable results. Connect with Deb to learn more about her mentorship and coaching programs to equip you with advanced strategies to elevate your results