Reducing Employee Burnout Through Wellness

No one is immune to stress and the effects it can have on the body and mind. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has been a major stressor for a lot of people, leading to a sharp increase in employee burnout as the lines between work and home have blurred. As both individuals and companies are beginning to pay closer attention to wellness, it’s imperative we discuss the importance of wellness -- both physical and mental -- and how to improve it.

To provide her insight into wellness and share some things you can do to improve it, Danielle Day joins Jennifer and the Survive & Thrive podcast. Danielle holds a PhD in Integrative Physiology, is a former collegiate gymnast and aspiring weightlifter, and the founder of C-Health; giving her a unique perspective on the importance of wellness in business and our personal lives.

 

 

 

Act 1: The beginning

Danielle’s background and experience (1:44)

Jennifer and Danielle share some of the highlights from her career.

The leadup to the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown (3:47)

Still working for uniQure, Danielle was in a meeting when the shutdown started. Despite a job that involved a lot of travel, Danielle suddenly had to get accustomed to working from home.

Realizing the new reality (5:19)

As the weeks of lockdown stretched on with no clear end in sight, a new reality set in for Danielle. She discusses what it was like dealing with the launch of a new and innovative treatment option for hemophilia when they couldn’t actually meet with anyone. 

How are you? (9:56)

During the pandemic, Danielle asked her employees how they were doing instead of focusing solely on deliverables and work metrics. As many previous guests have found, taking an interest in you and your staff’s personal lives led to a new understanding of the difficulties many people faced balancing work and home life during the pandemic.

Act 2: Finding new purpose

A new perspective (12:25)

So many people used the pandemic as a time of reflection and growth, and Danielle is no different, starting several new ventures including starting her own company. Danielle reflects how the coronavirus pandemic shaped her perspective on purpose.

Better handling high-stress situations (19:39)

Danielle’s company, C-Health, seeks to provide holistic self-care and boundary-setting strategies to maintain mental and physical health practices during high-stress periods. The pandemic was certainly one of those times. Danielle discusses some of the issues that plague people, especially women, and lead to employee burnout

Act 3: Using wellness to decrease employee burnout

Supporting employee wellness (24:41)

As companies begin focusing more attention on their employees’ mental and physical wellness beyond just work itself, finding a way to properly support that can be difficult. What does it actually look like? As Danielle notes, it doesn’t have to mean needing a big block of time. Taking small moments to stretch and change your routine can lead to feeling reenergized. 

How to implement and sustain wellness programs (29:37)

The lines between work and home life have blurred during the pandemic, which has led to an increase in employee burnout. Danielle shares some of the ways companies can improve employee buy-in and sustainability in their wellness programs.

Act 4: Taking time

Taking small breaks (38:34)

A recent study has found taking even small breaks can significantly decrease your brain’s stress levels. Danielle discusses the importance of incentivizing taking small breaks.

Reading, reacting, and learning (40:05)

Danielle believes it’s important to be open to what’s happening around us and focus on developing the skills necessary to cope well to that increase in stress.

Sources:

BMJ - Physical inactivity associated with higher risk for severe COVID-19 outcomes

Morning Brew - Microsoft study shows need for breaks in between video meetings

Microsoft WorkLab - Research proves your brain needs breaks