Burnout is a common problem among teams and individuals in the workplace, especially in the tech industry. It’s often caused by long hours, high-stress levels, and a lack of support or recognition. In 2020 and 2021, American workers across the board noticed heightened burnout rates, with 79% of employees reporting work-related stress in the month before the 2021 Work and Well-being Survey by the American Psychological Association.
Nearly 3 in 5 employees reported negative impacts of work-related stress, including lack of interest, motivation, energy, and effort at work. Meanwhile, 36% reported cognitive weariness, 32% reported emotional exhaustion, and 44% reported physical fatigue — a 38% increase since 2019. Similarly, Gallup’s polls have found that workers’ life evaluations have declined since the pandemic and that 61% of women and 52% of men feel stressed on a typical day.
Even the World Health Organization is bringing attention to the problem of work-related stress. Since 2019, WHO has redefined burnout as a syndrome linked to chronic stress at work. This re-definition went into effect in January 2022, and it’s now in the new version of its handbook of diseases, the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). It defines burnout as chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. Despite earlier reports, WHO doesn’t yet classify the problem as a medical condition.
One way to prevent burnout in tech teams is through progressive deployment.
Progressive deployment is a strategy that involves gradually rolling out new projects or changes to a team rather than implementing them all at once. This allows teams to adapt to the changes gradually, reducing the stress and pressure they come up against.
This article will explore how progressive deployment can help prevent burnout and how companies can implement it.
What is burnout, and why it’s a problem
Chronic workplace stress can cause a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion called burnout. It’s characterized by cynicism, detachment, and ineffectiveness. It can have severe consequences for the individual and the company, considering that over half of all workers reported symptoms of burnout.
On the other hand, this syndrome can lead to decreased productivity and performance, as well as increased absenteeism and turnover. It can also negatively affect an individual’s mental and physical health, leading to an increased risk of depression, anxiety, and other health problems.
The effects of burnout on employee retention are particularly concerning. A recent study found that 95% of HR leaders feel burnout sabotages employee retention, accounting for 20-50% of annual employee turnover. These numbers highlight the need for businesses to take action and prevent burnout among their teams.
How progressive deployment can help prevent burnout
As stated above, progressive deployment is a strategy that involves gradually rolling out new projects or changes to a team rather than implementing them all at once. This allows tech teams to adapt to the changes gradually, reducing the stress and pressure they encounter.
There are several key benefits to using progressive deployment to prevent burnout among teams:
- Minor changes
It allows teams to adjust to changes gradually, rather than being overwhelmed by a sudden influx of new projects or changes. This can help reduce the stress and pressure they experience and improve morale and engagement.
- Improve quality
Progressive deployment allows teams to learn from each iteration and make adjustments. This can improve the overall quality of the project and increase its chances of success. It also allows teams to provide feedback and suggestions for improvement, which can help companies make more informed decisions about implementing changes.
- More tests
Progressive deployment allows businesses to test new ideas and changes before fully implementing them. This can help identify potential issues or challenges before they become significant problems. It can also provide valuable feedback from the team, allowing companies to make adjustments and improvements based on their experiences.
How to implement progressive deployment in your business
To implement progressive deployment effectively, you or your company should follow a few key steps.
- First, companies should identify the areas where progressive deployment can be applied. This might include new projects, changes to processes or systems, or the introduction of new technologies.
- Next, create a plan for rolling out the changes gradually. This might involve starting with a small group of people or a limited pilot project and then gradually expanding to the rest of the team or company. The plan should consider the team’s needs and capabilities, as well as the goals and objectives of the company.
- Once the plan has been developed, you or the managers should communicate it to the team. This is important to ensure that everyone is aware of the changes and the reasons behind them. It can help reduce uncertainty and confusion and also build support for the team.
Businesses should provide support and resources to the team throughout the process to make progressive deployment successful. This might include training, guidance, and support from managers and other team members. Additionally, companies should monitor the progress of the changes and collect feedback from the team, so that any issues or challenges can be addressed promptly.
One way to provide support and resources to the team is through regular check-ins and meetings. These can be used to discuss the progress and identify any challenges or concerns the team may have. It’s essential to provide regular feedback and recognition to the team to help motivate and engage them throughout the process.
Another key aspect of implementing progressive deployment is to ensure that the team has the necessary skills and capabilities to handle the changes. This might involve providing training and development opportunities, and support and guidance from experienced team members. By investing in the team’s skills and capabilities, companies can ensure they are equipped to handle the changes and achieve success.
Progressive deployment helps a lot, but keep checking your team for burnout
Progressive deployment is a valuable strategy for preventing burnout among tech teams and individuals. By rolling out changes gradually, businesses can drastically reduce the amount of stress and pressure and improve the overall success of a project. By providing support and resources and by collecting feedback, companies can ensure that progressive deployment is successful and leads to improved morale and engagement among their teams.
But the tech sector is a high-stress environment, so you should always keep track of your teams’ well-being. Here’s a short summary of signs and symptoms indicating that someone is experiencing burnout:
- Feeling overwhelmed and unable to meet the demands of their job
- Loss of motivation and interest in work
- Decreased job satisfaction and sense of accomplishment
- Physical symptoms, such as fatigue, headaches, and difficulty sleeping
- Emotional symptoms, such as irritability, depression, and anxiety
To detect burnout, it’s crucial to be aware of these signs and symptoms and to regularly check in with team members to assess their welfare. It may also be helpful to provide resources and support for managing stress, such as training on time management and stress management techniques, and to encourage open communication within the team to identify and address potential sources of stress.