Reasons Why Innovation Teams Experience Burnout


The best teams are characterized by motivation, professionalism, and dedication. However, it is easy to get the best of people when the workload is still relatively low. With the eruption in tech and other innovative industries, several teams are coming together to build amazing solutions to permanent and temporary problems. A classic feature of startups is the fast pace of operations and duty-sharing. More so, the higher your solutions scales, the faster your teams are required to provide solutions.

Often, burnout conversations center on individuals and their approach to stress management. Well, teams also experience burnouts that result majorly from individual overburden, failure to meet expectations, or grappling with financial commitments. Notably, creativity requires energy and defined perspectives. Burnouts rob teams of these elements, making every problem look almost impossible to solve.

A lot of team leaders do not pay attention to the overall effect of burnout in their team. This article will do the job of highlighting some reasons for burnouts; thus, guiding teams on how best to avoid it;

Team burnout
Team burnout

Answering the ‘why’ question

  1. Overwhelming workload

The pressure to create innovative solutions is immense and a lot of teams get carried away along the line. One thing is sure, efficiency reduces when a team begins to take on too much work overtime. It is necessary to have a break at times when the team feels like there is too much pressure coming from all sides. It gives room for members to recharge and come back with fresh ideas.

Freedom makes people more responsible. When individuals feel like their team takes absolute responsibility for their well-being, they arguably become more accountable. If there are so many things to get over the line within a short time frame, it is advisable to expand the team or pause some projects.

Above all, the temptation of overstretching teams should be avoided even when the options are limited.

2. Lack of explicit emergency methods

When you provide solutions, people will find you. Thus, new tasks can show up halfway through a project your team is handling. When situations like this arise, it is easy to lose direction for a while, thereby bombarding staff with deadlines and prompt duties. To deal with this, it is best to have a defined framework that will guide emergency projects. Am I saying it is bad to take up multiple gigs? Of course not; but it is imperative to assess how well the team can complete gigs and hence, make informed decisions without burning out members.

In any process, handling all tasks as an emergency will flood the team with urgent demands.

3. Bad working atmosphere

Well, this might look strange but I can categorically assure you that a bad work atmosphere reduces productivity. So how does that relate to burnouts? A non-toxic workplace helps conserve the mental strength of members-reducing the tendency of team burnout. There have been occurrences of people leaving high-income jobs for lower-paying jobs for reasons like mental stress and bad workplace culture. A bad work atmosphere spurs underproductivity by top talents within teams and it’s best to manage it with top-level human management being inculcated into team members.

It is important to keep everyone happy to make your teams far from burnouts.

4. Undefined team roles

In teams, there exist a very thin line between organized operations and entropic activities. When the work scope gets entropic, burnouts creep in. Innovation requires a lot of energy that gets expended into research, market analysis, and execution planning and it is easy to get overwhelmed by goals. Defining team roles makes room for an assessment of productivity on the individual level. Also, role definition enables team members to call for help quickly. You will agree with me, without a clear boundary in a team’s workflow, it becomes easy for stress to get the better of team members.

By defining roles, tasks are dutifully shared amongst all team members with an emphasis on time-frame.

Roadmaps and teamwork scope have proven efficient in helping members to visualize the workflow and eliminate overburden.

A Tech Enthusiast. A conversational Copywriter. I write more often times than not.