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Three Strategies to Manage Burnout

While unavoidable in many workplaces, tight deadlines and heavy workloads make marketers more prone to stress than most. Couple that with pandemic-driven tension—with working from home blurring the lines between personal and professional life and campaigns constantly playing catchup to COVID-related curve-balls—and it’s no surprise that marketers feel burnt out.

In fact, a staggering 70% of marketing leaders in an Accenture survey say that the last year has left their teams super-stressed and more than a little exhausted.

However, while marketers may be extra susceptible to burnout, some executives say they’re doing just fine, thank you very much. They’re among a small group that’s thriving under pressure. Who are they?

The Accenture research breaks marketing employees into three categories:

  • 17%: Thrivers, who are energized and flourishing because they’ve been empowered to do so
  • 66%: Strivers, who are persevering but struggling, as their jobs contain tasks that contribute to burnout
  • 17%: Survivors, who are burnt out, attempting to cope until things go back to “normal”

Want to be a Thriver leading a Thriving team? Here’s how.

 

Recognize less is often more

Thrivers are 40% more likely than Survivors to have found reprieve in decluttering their jobs—meaning they focus more on dynamic, stimulating work while automating monotonous tasks.

Identifying these tasks involves creating an open environment where employees feel they can share their honest thoughts about the parts of their jobs that motivate them, but also the parts of their jobs they dislike.

From there, leadership can refine processes that streamline ways of working—and automate the unnecessary—giving employees the freedom to focus on those tasks where they can make their strongest contributions.

 

Equip them to meet expectations

The pandemic has altered the priorities of consumers in many verticals. For example, about half of college students believe their degree is devalued or their learning experience is not as fulfilling because it’s been largely online. Mortgage rates are expected to increase in 2022, making refinancing less attractive and causing concern among homeowners with variable rate loans.

More than half of Thrivers accept that consumer expectations and challenges are fundamentally new and will continue to be influenced by the pandemic for the foreseeable future.

Marketers who not only understand these concerns but are well-equipped to address these evolving expectations are likely to feel they’re being more effective. Employees who feel they’re being effective are more likely to remain inspired and grow in the process.

Investing in tools like surveys and social listening are great ways to keep marketers in touch with the current zeitgeist, which is changing at a pace more rapid than ever.

 

Connect employees to a larger cause

Thrivers are twice as likely as Survivors to intentionally activate their brand’s purpose in both their words and their actions—specifically in their external engagements.

And while there’s no shortage of research that indicates brands who stick to their purposes are more successful, now is the time to discard empty, generic “purpose” that could ultimately be one-size-fits-all for any brand.

Purposes that are authentic, meaningful, and specific to your brand are the ones that resonate not only with your targets, but your employees too. Rallying employees around a common purpose can turn them into your brand’s top ambassadors—and make their jobs more emotionally rewarding in the process.

While many marketers may remain at risk of burnout, they don’t have to be. Empower your employees by giving them the knowledge and tools to focus on what really matters and you could have a team that thrives—and a brand that does, too.

Need help getting started? Let’s talk.

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