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Burnout – what can every organisation do about burnout?

Reducing the potential for burnout within an organisation requires a multifaceted approach that addresses both individual well-being and systemic factors. Here’s a concise overview of strategies an organisation can employ to foster a healthier work environment and mitigate burnout. 

Firstly, organisational leaders can prioritise and promote a culture of well-being. This involves recognising the importance of work-affirming work and encouraging employees to take breaks, utilise vacation time, and maintain what works for each person regarding a healthy separation between work and personal life. Enabling the setting of realistic expectations for workload and deadlines is crucial in preventing employees from feeling overwhelmed. 

Communication is paramount. Establishing open channels for each person to express concerns, provide feedback, and seek support creates a supportive work environment. Regular check-ins, both formal and informal, can help managers and peers gauge well-being and address potential burnout triggers proactively. 

Flexibility in work arrangements is a powerful tool. Offering options like remote work, flexible hours, job redesign or compressed workweeks can accommodate diverse needs and reduce the pressure associated with rigid schedules. 

Investing in professional development and skill-building not only enhances employee capabilities but also signals a commitment to their long-term growth and job satisfaction. Feeling stagnant or undervalued can contribute to burnout, so providing opportunities for advancement and learning is essential. 

Recognising and acknowledging each other for good work is a simple yet effective strategy. Regularly expressing appreciation boosts morale and reinforces a positive organisational culture. Recognition programs, whether formal or informal, contribute to a sense of accomplishment and value. 

Addressing workload and sustained frustrations is crucial. Organisations need to assess and distribute tasks equitably, avoiding chronic overburdening of specific individuals or teams. When feasible, consider hiring additional staff or redistributing responsibilities to prevent burnout due to excessive workload. 

Lastly, organisations should actively promote mental health resources. Providing access to counselling services, mental health days, safe spaces and educational materials normalises discussions around mental well-being and encourages individuals to seek help when needed. 

In summary, combating burnout in an organisation requires a combination of cultural, structural, and individual interventions. By fostering a supportive and flexible environment, promoting open communication, recognising employee contributions, and addressing workload issues, every organisation can create conditions that mitigate burnout and contribute to a healthier, more sustainable workplace.