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How to prevent burnout

T he flipside of motivation and happiness is burnout, and it’s all too common in support. In fact, a recent study shows that 20-50% of all employee turnover is due to burnout. Once you get to burnout, it’s pretty difficult to turn the ship around, so here are a few ways that you can prevent it and avoid the issue altogether.


Similar to the above, giving a person clarity into their role, their placement within the team, and the expectations of the team as a whole can give them a really good view into what they can expect and how they should frame their time. Without any clarity, it’s hard to know what the goal is, and without a goal, it’s easier to work until you are unable to do so anymore. Help your employees create a balanced load for themselves by guiding them towards what the expected and encouraged output is for the role so that they have a measuring stick to put their performance against. Racing against nothing, after all, is sure to get exhausting.


Make yourself available to people if they want to talk. Nobody likes meetings, but if one of your employees comes to you and asks to talk about something, you should let them in and see what they want to talk about, even if you are supremely busy, Using some of your emotional energy to help out a person on your team who might be having trouble is incredibly worth it if they end up staying with your company because you used that extra 5 minutes of your time that you were a little reticent to.


If an employee doesn’t have any insight or coaching into how they are doing, or how the company is doing, they’re likely not going to feel as invested as they could. Make sure you have a feedback structure in place with your employee to let them know how they are doing regularly, not just quarterly or annually with the rest of your company like you might be tempted to.

Similarly, give them the opportunity to share their thoughts on what the company could be doing better. People want to feel like they are a part of something and have a say in what is happening, so let them have it. It takes little effort to sit and listen to your employees, and they likely have a lot of really great insights into how things could shift to be better. Quarterly town halls or all-hands meetings can boost motivation through showing progress and answering any concerns employees have.

Feedback from Customer Champions is extremely important for Chatra, since they are the ones who use our own live chat software the most. During company calls, each member of the support team can share their feedback, the whole team discusses it and decides whether the required changes or implementations can be made. This helps us keep the Chatra product customer-focused as we grow. Give it a try and see for yourself!

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Candid one-on-ones

For customer service agents, one-on-ones are super important to professional development and releasing some emotional burdens. Come to your team’s one-on-ones ready to be honest and straightforward, and answer whatever questions or thoughts your employee has with candor. This goes hand-in-hand with the point above: have a structure that you stick to so that people are ready and know what you’re going to ask, but then give your employee the opportunity to talk while you truly listen.

Also feel free to be candid and share your own thoughts, both about the employee’s performance and the company as a whole. Sometimes seeing someone in a managerial position behaving a certain way can give others the encouragement they need to also behave in that way.

Encourage them to take time off

Vacation is important and, especially with the rise of unlimited vacation, people are becoming more and more scared of “taking too much.” Ernst and Young did a study that found that for every 10 additional hours of vacation time their employees took, their performance ratings from supervisors improved by 8 percent. So, encourage your employees to take the time they need to refresh, and then watch as they turn into powerhouses upon return.