Avoid burnout amongst your personnel – how a misalignment in role expectations leads to “Franken-roles” and the quiet quitting epidemic
Maybe you’ve recently restructured.
Maybe you have a batch of newcomers on the team.
Or maybe? You’ve had to make the tough decision to reduce your workforce in light of economic conditions.
In any of the above scenarios, clarifying roles is a crucial way to prevent burnout* and keep your people motivated.
And in the wake of layoffs (even if they’re not happening at your company), your people are probably feeling pret-ty anxious, teetering on the edge of burnout in an increasingly ambiguous operating environment. It’s not an easy time for you or them.
One of the best things you can do to cut the tension is to show people that you see them. You want to hear from them.
You know they have good reasons to be on edge. You care about assuaging their anxiety.
No, you’re not expecting everyone to take on 25% more work indefinitely. Yes, you are committed to making sure everyone feels secure and supported in their role moving forward.
Hosting a check-in that seeks genuine alignment by inviting full participation is THE way to shore up morale.
Nobody will need to “quiet quit,” because people will generate their own buy-in as they co-create the path forward.
Now more than ever, people need reassurance that they’re not going to take on more work without supported boundaries and clear priorities. Here’s how to avoid the dreaded “Franken-role” syndrome that comes after consolidation:
1. Set realistic expectations upfront. Let people know you don’t expect them to do more with less forever.
2. Get clear on immediate priorities, and gather input from your team to help you with the full picture.
3. Adjust roles to meet priorities. Clarify roles together to maximize buy-in from everyone.
4. Set a date to reevaluate roles no later than 3 months from today.
5. Commit to continuous communication and improvement.
Need help structuring this team conversation? Start with our role clarification exercise for teams. Rinse and repeat every quarter as needed.
The magic of this type of session is only unlocked when your team feels psychologically safe. So the value of the exercise is directly proportional to the quality of its facilitation. Are you 100% confident that you can surface honest feedback? Talk about the elephants in the room. Generate perspectives that are going to shine a light on blind spots and team liabilities?
We recommend that you also download our psychological safety checklist before hosting a meeting where success rides on full participation.
Job burnout: How to spot it and take action – Mayo Clinic, 2021