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Deconstructing burnout and building resilience

Wellbeing

Avoid burnout and build resilience 

COVID-19 is impacting not-for-profit organisations and their people in very different ways. Times of change and stress make us consider the high potential for employee burnout and how to counter it by promoting resilience.

Our latest paper, in association with healthcare partner Press Ganey, shares research into the increasing levels of burnout among healthcare professionals and what can be done about it. There are some useful lessons that we can take away from this for the community services sector.

There are two focus concepts to the paper: deconstructing burnout and building resilience.

1. Deconstructing burnout

The symptoms of burnout include emotional exhaustion, detachment from one’s work, loss of fulfilment and a reduced sense of accomplishment.

Addressing burnout effectively requires distinguishing between inherent and external stressors and rewards and managing each appropriately based on the following considerations.

  • Optimise the interrelationship between inherent stressors and rewards by enhancing employees’ experience of the inherent rewards – helping them more reliably find meaning, pleasure and respect in their work
  • Minimise the negative effect of external stressors by identifying them clearly and working hard to reduce them as much as possible. Don’t try to “outweigh” them by adding external rewards without addressing the stressors themselves

2. Building resilience

Resilience is the ability to recover quickly from difficulties and adversity. The Press Ganey framework defines two key elements that contribute to a caregiver’s resilience over time – activation and decompression.

Activation refers to finding meaning and fulfilment in one’s work. Meaningful work can build resilience – it can make us stronger and give us the energy to handle challenges in other areas of our lives. However, this is only true of meaningful work. Frustrating, tedious and meaningless work can drain us very quickly. When it’s a battle to get things done, it saps our energy.

Decompression is about being able to retreat, relax and recuperate. Taking time off and doing something completely different, getting our minds off our jobs, is very important if we want to maintain high levels of resilience.

Download the whitepaper below.

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