Workplace Interventions for Preventing Burnout

Workplace stress and burnout affects all professions. But, healthcare and social services are ranked number one for occupations with the highest rates for burnout, suicide, depression, and stress. Surgeons, Physicians, Anesthesiologists, Medics, Social Workers and Therapists are some of the top ranked professions in the industry for burnout and stress.

What is “Burnout?”

Burnout is a state of chronic stress that may lead to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism or detachment. Those experiencing burnout may have feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment. A common sign of burnout includes constant exhaustion. Exhaustion may be felt mentally, emotionally and physically.

A report, “Interventions to Reduce Burnout in High-Risk Individuals: Evidence Review,” provides and evidence review on “burnout as a priority under-explored topic in health, work and unemployment issues.” The Report was published by Public Health England, which exists to improve the nation’s health and well-being, while reducing health inequalities. The content in the report was prepared by Leeds Beckett University.

Supported Evidence

The target audience of the report included local government, national organizations interested in health and work, and other businesses. They found most of the burnout was within healthcare and larger organizations. Researchers explained that every workplace is different. There is a lack of evidence of interventions that work for all organizations because of the diversity among each of them. They included suggestions of interventions, but warn that caution should be practices when “transferring interventions between contexts.”

Key Findings

Researchers explained that small group or individual interventions may be easier to implement, but don’t have long-lasting effects. On the other hand, organizational intervention may product longer-lasting effects. Examples of organizational interventions include:

  • Staff training
  • Workshops
  • Cognitive-behavioral programs
  • Aspects of the organization’s culture
  • Changes to workplace or working practices

The report supports implementing organizational interventions, while mixing in small group or individual interventions when needed. Combining both interventions allows for open communication promotion, manager and peer support, a culture of learning and successful participation in planning and implementation of programs. The report highlights various situational and organizational approaches to preventing burnout, rather than individual level factors:

  • Job autonomy
  • Job security
  • Staff engagement
  • Culture of participation, equality and fairness
  • Opportunities for promoting employees’ mental well-being
  • Opportunities for flexible working
  • Strengthened role of line managers

The Benefit of Health and Wellness

Providing workplace health and wellness for employees not only prevents burnout and stress, but is a benefit. Having access to healthy food and drink choices, support and assistance programs, and training can not only improve an employee’s lifestyle, but reduce turnover rates and improve production.

OccuMed of New England specializes in implementing corporate health and wellness programs, including smoking cessation programs, nutrition/fitness guidance, and Preventing Workplace Stress training. For a full list of our corporate wellness services, visit our website. For more information on how to reduce your employee burnout and stress rates, call 833-OCCUMED.