Burnout Prevention

With one in two Belgian employees fearing burnout, it is crucial for employers to tackle the problem at its source. Our guidance programmes will help you intervene in time.

Burnout: no escape?

Our mental well-being has come under severe pressure in recent years, and this is clearly reflected in the workplace. Burnout and other psychosocial disorders are a real problem. The figures don’t lie. According to the NIHDI, the number of people unable to work for long periods due to burnout and depression rose by 50.93% between 2016 and 2020. We seem to be moving towards a historical tipping point in which the number of people unable to work threatens to exceed the number of people looking for work.

Causes of burnout

A burnout rarely has a sole cause. Instead, it results from a combination of factors, both work-related and private. However, we can clearly see that working conditions and stress levels at work play an undeniable role. Long-term strain and stress lead to professional exhaustion, reduced performance, frequent absences, or long-term absence.

In many organisations, there is a problematic exposure to stress. This can be related to the working conditions, terms of employment, relationships at work, organisational structure, or job content. The good news is that you, as an employer, can get a grip on this and provide preventive support.

Burnout: prevention is better than cure

It’s not only the employees who suffer when confronted with burnout. It also affects the employer and colleagues. This is expressed in absenteeism, falling productivity, a higher workload for colleagues, a negative culture, and possibly even higher staff turnover and reduced quality.

The consequences for society cannot be underestimated either. According to the NIHDI, the cost of disability benefits due to long-term burnouts will reach €418 million in 2020. Therefore, preventing burnout is of great importance to the employee, the employer, and society.

Burnout prevention options

Stress and burnout were included in the Belgian well-being act in 2014. As a result, the prevention of stress and burnout, just like other psychosocial risks, partly became the employer’s responsibility. The 2021 HR Barometer by Hudson and Vlerick Business School shows that mental well-being has effectively become the top priority within HR. However, the same study also shows that many employers struggle to take concrete action. There are several options:

Primary burnout prevention

Primary prevention aims to reduce the physical, cognitive, and emotional strain at work by addressing the various sources of risk. You can detect, analyse, and try to eliminate energy consumers and stressors. Sometimes the approach may also be to give workers more control or resources to complete their tasks more efficiently. In other cases, it may be about facilitating positive work relationships, installing a feedback culture, or supporting a people manager.

Secondary burnout prevention

Secondary prevention focuses on workers who are already exposed to psychosocial risks, experiencing stress, or other discomforts but are not yet unable to work. As an employer, you are no longer concerned with eliminating risks, but with making your employees more resilient. This form of prevention teaches them to deal better with stressors and takes a close look at their lifestyle.

Tertiary burnout prevention

Tertiary prevention refers to employees who are already unable to work. Once your employee suffers from burnout, having a little rest is no longer sufficient. Professional help is needed to help them get back to work and avoid relapse. We are happy to refer you to specialists for this form of prevention.

Preventive burnout coaching

How do you get started? Hudson offers individual guidance programmes that focus on primary and secondary prevention of stress and burnout. By creating awareness, identifying stressors, and supporting habit-breaking and behavioural changes, our coaches teach your employees to intervene in time or to seek help. Each programme is tailored to the needs of the employee.

Our certified coaches take a solution-oriented approach and help your employees to:

  • gain insight into their own stressors and pitfalls
  • deal with stress differently
  • monitor and restore their energy levels
  • increase their mental resilience
  • break obstructive beliefs and patterns
  • develop healthier habits
  • draw up and implement a concrete action plan

Do you want to apply this theme even more broadly? We would like to enter into a dialogue with you on how you, as an employer or manager, can further optimise the work context of your team, department, or organisation in this context.

A preventive approach to burnout in your organisation?

Focusing on preventive burnout coaching makes your employees more resilient. As a result, they are better equipped to deal with burnout, feel better, keep working optimally, and are absent less often. The positive impact of these programmes can also be felt at an organisational level: a stronger employer brand, improved retention & engagement, increased productivity, etc.

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