Do you have staff members whose performance has lately fallen short of your firm’s standards, or at least shown a decline? If so, they might be suffering from burnout. 

When staff feel overworked and underappreciated, especially for long periods, their morale and their efficiency can suffer. If the people you normally expect to fulfill key responsibilities are burned out, it will end up costing you time and money and hinder the overall quality of your firm’s service to clients and its potential.

Never think that your clients won’t notice.

Successful companies in virtually all industries have learned how to prevent and cure this problem. Here are five steps they often use that work just as well in the financial services field:

1. Foster A Team Environment

Many people begin to burn out when they feel their work has little meaning, value or purpose. To prevent them from losing sight of your firm’s goals, talk regularly with your staff members. Help them see that they’re part of a team working toward a common goal, meaning you must be sure to explain your goals often, and emphasize that their role is as important as everyone else’s.

You can accomplish this in group settings. For example, my firm holds occasional retreats for our various teams. We go off-site to a comfortable, relaxed setting, where we help everyone refocus on our mission while showing appreciation for each person’s important contributions. We also hold frequent “all hands” meetings and video record them so those who can’t attend can view them later. 

2. Set Reasonable Expectations

Sure, you need to challenge staff members so that they grow in their jobs, perform at a higher level and eventually get promoted. But are your standards reasonable and attainable? If your expectations are too high, you might get the opposite of what you intended. Setting goals that people feel they can’t attain can hurt their self-esteem, create extra stress and make them feel their best will never be good enough. Some may stop trying at all and become burned out. To avoid this, make sure the performance standards you set are within everyone’s reach.

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