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Businesses urged to tackle employee burnout in January

Apps and mental health first aiders can help, says Towergate

Businesses are being encouraged to tackle staff burnout in January – a month when many employees consider looking for a new job.

Burnout has been identified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as “chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”.

According to Brett Hill, distribution director at Towergate Health & Protection, this definition puts the responsibility for tackling burnout firmly at the door of employers.

Hill (pictured) said tackling burnout requires deep-rooted cultural change and a thorough examination of the organisation.

Burnout: Chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed

World Health Organisation

“The always-on culture, having work WhatsApp groups that don’t adhere to standard business hours, and being available whilst on holiday for example, all contribute to burnout,” he warned. “Employers that truly want to support the mental wellbeing of their staff, need to genuinely consider whether their working culture supports wellbeing, and be prepared to make some major changes if not.”

The health intermediary also advises empowering staff to take charge through company-sponsored mental health apps and providing access to professional help, for instance through mental health first aiders.

“While traditional techniques, such as the importance of taking holidays and regular exercise still apply, we have more sophisticated options available to help staff tackle burnout too,” said Hill. “Our overall understanding of mental health is constantly improving, enabling employers to be much more proactive in managing the issue, and there are many more options available to provide that support, including apps that can help employees keep a daily track on their mental health, which can help prevent issues escalating.”