Burnout can be a major issue for your project management office (PMO) both in terms of long-term productivity and, more importantly, the overall wellbeing of the people you work with. Knowing how to prevent burnout in your PMO will be beneficial to your work and personal life.
The causes of PMO teams burning out can be easy to identify, but trying to find a way to stop things getting to the point where people can’t cope takes creative thinking.
To complete your understanding of workplace burnout, we’re going to look at:
- The benefits of mitigating burnout in your PMO
- Actions you can implement to prevent burnout
- Examples of how to embed these actions across your office
Helping keep your team balanced and happy.
What are the benefits of preventing burnout in a PMO?
Burnt out staff aren’t happy staff. Burn out can affect your team and colleagues in a variety of ways, none of them positive.
The wellbeing of the people working in your PMO is paramount. When you have happy staff, your office will see:
- Higher levels of productivity
- Lower rates of staff turnover
- Better relationships across the business
- Healthier team members
- More accurate and complete work
No one wants to deal with stress. Happy team members will get the work done and done well and will remain loyal to your PMO and wider business.
How to prevent burnout in a PMO
Burnout has become an issue for businesses and is recognised as a workplace health issue by the WHO. Here are some strategies and examples you can implement or adapt to your PMO setting.
Reconnect leaders with workers
How leaders and people managers interact with the team has a big effect on how those teams feel. People need to feel empowered, trusted, and listened to in their role. Micromanaging can breed negativity, especially when someone is highly skilled and aren’t being left to do their work.
Have leaders run workshops with the people who report to them. Have the focus be on understanding the capabilities of each person to reiterate their skills to management. Then, have managers outline what actions and decisions are delegated to people, giving agency to team members.
Keep a handle on scope creep
Scope creep isn’t just bad for a project’s deadline and budget, it can knock the confidence of employees. You need to make sure that when the scope of a project changes it’s communicated effectively to everyone involved.
Have a clear outline to deal with scope creep or when deliverables are adjusted by the client. Make sure that open and honest discussion with everyone involved with the change is held and opinions listened to – your team may have better solutions since they’re to ones working with the product.
Reduce work burden
Too much work isn’t good for anyone. It increases pressure and actually reduces the overall quality of work produced. Oftentimes, your team will feel scared to say “no” to new tasks even when their desk is already full.
Complete an honest and thorough assessment of the expected work of each team member and compare it to their job description. Identify where too may tasks are allocated to one person. This my result in you needing to hire more staff or streamline processes.
Increase support opportunities
Being supported in work and at home can be tough for some people. Asking for help isn’t easy for lots of people, neither is admitting when you can’t do something.
Focus on offering training to your team to ensure they have the skills and knowledge they need to do the job. Investing in them will also make them feel more valued. For issues away from the office, ensure that your workplace employee assistance programme is up to the job and easy to access.
Have a wellbeing mindset
Your PMO is focussed on a clear set of goals and they can start to come before the people who deliver them. Changing to being people-focussed will still deliver the outputs you need whilst looking after your staff and creating a better working environment.
Offer personal days, encourage your team to take their leave in a timely way, encourage regular exercise by offering gym memberships or negotiating a discount for your workers. Letting your team know they’re important will help them cope with stresses.
Preventing burnout in your PMO
Working on how to prevent burnout in your PMO will have a range of benefits to both your office and your people. Each PMO is different so learn where your office’s pain points are and use our tips to inspire changes you can implement.