9 Policies Companies Should Implement to Reduce Burnout
October 21, 2023
A new survey from the American Heart Association highlights the impact of corporate policies and culture on employees’ self-reported levels of well-being and burnout. The new survey findings may help employers reduce burnout and improve workforce well-being by up to 40%.
Survey highlights include:
- The majority (82%) of employees say they at least sometimes feel burned out in their professional role, with a quarter (25%) saying they feel this way often or always.
- At organizations with all nine of the American Heart Association’s recommended policies in place, 91% of employees report positive workplace well-being, as compared to only 51% in organizations with none of the policies in place.
- Implementing changes to workplace policies and culture, even incrementally, can help improve employee well-being and reduce burnout.
The World Health Organization defines burnout as a workplace mental health phenomenon resulting from chronic, unmanaged workplace stress that is characterized by feelings of exhaustion, disengagement and negativity related to one’s job, and reduced professional performance.
Employees are not the only ones paying the price for burnout. Excessive workplace stress can result in up to an estimated $190 billion in health care costs each year and is linked with higher absenteeism and job dissatisfaction. Research shows that employers can help mitigate these costs and support better business outcomes by championing employee well-being.
The survey of 5,055 U.S. working adults was conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of the American Heart Association, with the aim of understanding how employees are impacted by nine evidence-based best practices to combat burnout and promote employee mental health. Despite positive measures of workforce well-being, more than three quarters (82%) of respondents reported experiencing burnout at least sometimes, with parents, frontline or essential workers, women, younger workers (Generation Z and millennials) and LGBTQIA+ workers particularly likely to report feeling burned out often or always.
What can employers do to help?
All nine policies analyzed in the survey were found to be associated with increased workplace well-being as reported by employees, and seven were also associated with decreased burnout:
- Assess alignment between skillset and job tasks
- Establish clear roles and responsibilities
- Regularly assess workloads
- Design job roles with employee input
- Establish a training path to develop employee skills
- Assess if employees feel supported to lead a healthy life
- Promote overall employee well-being
- Discourage work-related technology use after hours
- Promote employee support (resource) groups
In companies with none of these policies in place, only 51% of employees reported positive workplace well-being, as compared to 91% of employees in companies with all nine policies in place. Notably, even the implementation of one of these policies made employees more likely to be satisfied with their benefits, have positive feelings about their current role and job responsibilities, and report feeling supported by their manager.
The American Heart Association’s Workforce Well-being Scorecard™ offers employers a comprehensive assessment of their culture of health and well-being based on leading best practices, including policies to support mental health and combat burnout.
Visit heart.org/workforce to view the full survey report and complete the Scorecard.
Source: American Heart Association
By Heather Nezich, courtesy of SBAM-approved partner, ASE.