21 Sep Effective Energy Management and Why You Need It
Burnout. Overwhelm. Stress. Tiredness.
These are all words you’ve probably heard from employees and team members at work. What do all of these terms have in common? They all relate to energy management.
The healthiest organizations and individuals know how to effectively manage their energy to stay balanced and create success.
But what does healthy vs. unhealthy energy management look like?
I like to use two analogies when speaking about the importance of energy management.
The first may sound familiar to you; putting on your oxygen mask first. Often, we skip putting our oxygen masks on first and spend all our energy on others in our jobs and life. If we can’t support ourselves and fill our cups, it will be challenging and take much more energy to support others.
The second analogy I like to use is a rubber band. Every individual is unique and has a different energy and work style that supports their motivation and drive, for instance, introverts and extroverts.
Extroverts were stretched in this last year, especially if living alone and working from home.
Introverts, on the other hand, were not stretched as they most likely preferred the work-from-home capabilities.
Healthy energy management is finding balance in stretching. While each work style is capable and many times willing to stretch, just like a rubber band, if they are stretched for too long, it can cause them to break or wear down.
On a personal level, healthy energy management looks like putting your mask on first and knowing when and how often you can stretch.
From a management perspective, healthy energy management is understanding how your employees are wired and motivated to create an as-stable-as-possible environment to support balance without teetering too long in that stretch.
This isn’t to say everyone gets to pick and choose what they want. There are many circumstances where individuals will either choose to or need to stretch in their position. That’s okay! This means the situation needs to be evaluated to have the right resources to support that stretch.
Want to know if you’re effectively managing your energy? Answer the following energy check-up questions:
- Do you feel good about going to work every day?
Do you enjoy what you’re a part of at your company and your contributions? If not, what are you feeling?
- Are you getting what you need?
For instance, do you need to leave your office over lunch for a mental break or a change of scenery? Do you need to speak up to your boss about meetings that have continuously run longer than planned?
- How do you refill your cup?
This will look different for everyone. What are some of the things that refill your cup? Going outdoors for a walk and fresh air? Taking a mental health day? It’s essential to identify how you can refill when you’re running low.
- What are you spending your energy on?
There’s a lot of things we can’t control. This hasn’t been more apparent than in the last year and a half with the pandemic. But what you can control is your response, which impacts your energy. Focus your energy on your responses and not trying to control the situation, and you’ll find your tank will be full longer.
- Are things beginning to slide?
Often, a lack of energy may look like coming into work late, not putting full effort forth, and a general lack of priorities.
If this occurs, it’s time to speak to your manager, supervisor, or employee to check in and receive/give support to recharge.
Training Tip: It is more important now than ever before to check in on your employees’ energy levels. The pandemic has created enormous shifts in energy, both at work and home, and crossover is inevitable.
To minimize burnout and increase your productivity and bottom line, you need to stop neglecting energy management. And it starts with you, as a leader or manager, and it’s recognizing and interrupting unhealthy energy to offer support and resources to get people back on track.
“Energy, not time, is the fundamental currency of high performance.” – Tony Schwartz
If you’re experiencing an energy shortage personally or within your team or organization, it’s time for a 15-minute workplace diagnosis. Using research-driven tools like DiSC, I can quickly and efficiently decipher your organization and individual employees’ needs to create a healthy environment and foundation on which to grow.