Mental Health Resources Alone Won’t Cure Burnout

I was invited to speak at a human resources conference, and I noticed this one theme that really kept popping up – it was about offering mental health resources to employees. Now interestingly enough, the CDC found that employees at risk for depression had the highest healthcare costs. Even when you took risks such as smoking and obesity into consideration, depression still was the highest.

So it absolutely makes sense that organizations would be offering these mental health resources. However, things such as sleep improvement programs, training on meditation, yoga, all of those things, those alone are not enough to cure the underlying factor – which is burnout. These things just absolutely alone will miss the mark. In fact, we can argue that those types of strategies are often offered as a reactive strategy, after somebody is already in that state of burnout.

So, I want to talk with you today about how to be proactive as an organization and a leader, and what the three things are that you can do to proactively, in conjunction with these mental health resources, really activate so that you are mitigating that burnout as best as possible. Number one, employees need to be paid fairly. Are you consistently reviewing your compensation plan, or is it something that’s been set decades ago? Are you actively reviewing that? Are you looking at the increased skill set, how your current employees are growing, and are you matching their compensation fairly?

When employees know that they’re being paid at least fairly, that’s the foundation. We’ve got to at least hit that. If we haven’t, we are absolutely going to lose those employees. Not just to burnout, but just a loss of retention overall. So that’s the first step you as a leader and your organization need to do, is to regularly review the compensation structure.

Number two is you’ve got to have great managers! There is such a high variance as to whether or not people feel engaged and or stay at companies simply because of the manager. So you need to be training managers on a regular basis, and you need to be quickly getting rid of bad managers. Number three, we’ve got to have realistic workloads. It is, we are no longer in a state of emergency for most organizations; people are tired of saying, “All hands on deck, we’ve just got to be all in! It’s only going to be a short period of time.”

No, we have to have manageable workloads.

If you’re not familiar with one thing, one culprit of these unmanageable workloads which are called NPTs, I recommend that you check out one of my recent videos on NPTs. It’s a great way to really go in and tackle, to make sure that we’ve got manageable workloads. As organizations and leaders, if you can hit these three things in conjunction with mental health resources, you are going to be more successful at mitigating burnout and retaining that top talent!