The only thing that's worse than a unicorn losing it's sparkle, is a childcare or activity provider - closely approaching burnout! Where Imagination Grows reveals common signs of provider burnout. Check out these red flags!
1. Sort out your administration systems.
Jeffyn Herioux reported through his extensive study; 'Combatting the Factors of Burnout' that one of the most common correlates of burnout, is related to the lack of administrative, or social support structures in an organisation. Making sure that you have all your ducks in a row, is vital to the longevity regarding your love of the job! You can minimise anxiety around work, tiredness, fatigue and irritability; simply by streamlining your mandatory tasks. But how? Check out How To Run Your Programme Simply.
2. Find a professional community.
Popular publisher; Forbes, also comments that, "A healthy community is necessary to mediate the stresses of work." What does your professional community look like? Do you have mentors or colleagues who are in a similar or higher position to you? Many childcare and activity providers that we've dealt with, are in a very multifaceted role. We've seen owners largely involved in the operations side of the business, while also managing staff, administration and finances. Structures like this cause overwhelming amounts of work pressures that lead to stress. The Spotcap blog write about how running the show and being caught up in so much detail; hinders the ability to look at situations objectively. It's important to have a mentor or professional community help to bring perspective and allow you to take a step back from the stress.
"Mentors can help guide you through difficult decisions by providing you a point of view that comes from a place which isn't caught up in the detail, yet still comes from a place of experience." - Kelly Maguire
Understand that your own employees cannot be your source for this kind of community. Why? Because you're still immersed in your own workplace. That outer perspective is important for your own sanity. Many of your own staff do not deal with the same pressures or responsibilites as you. Your professional community needs to consist of people that...
- understand your role and can provide guidance
- remind you of your long term goals
- and let you know that the grass is greener on the other side because they've seen it.
3. Reward yourself... often!
Mind Tools article on avoiding burnout comments that, "A state of fatigue or frustration is brought about by devotion to a cause, way of life, or relationship that failed to produce the expected reward." Rewards can come in the form of monetary terms, social or intrinsic. Whether being payed a higher wage, fostering a culture of encouragement and congratulations, or feeling good about your job... Recognising how you love to be rewarded and making sure that happens, is essential to avoiding burnout!
Long live sparkly unicorns!