Burnout is Real
Last updated: April 2023
I have worked in a few non-profit organizations for the last eight years and have learned that employee burnout is real and have also felt it myself on many different occasions.
If you work in non-profit like me, you have learned that usually, your heart is a lot fuller than your pocket. I know many individuals who work in the field who sometimes barely get by with the salary that they receive but the work that they do is both fulfilling and rewarding to them.
I am forever grateful to be working in the field of HIV prevention, but I also need to remind myself that I do not want to experience burnout.
The reason why I wanted to talk about this is that I am currently hiring new staff and throughout this process, both myself and other team members are picking up a lot more work until the positions are filled. I always make sure to continuously check in with my team to make sure that they are practicing self-care.
I am aware that employee burnout happens when an employee becomes exhausted while at the workplace. What this could look like is a feeling of frustration or irritation while at work. This could happen from working extremely long hours or from stress.
Before I was in leadership, I did experience a few moments of burnout. Once I became a supervisor, I wanted to ensure that my team did not feel this and if they did then I wanted to make sure that they could talk to me.
Tips on helping reduce burnout
I would like to share a few ways I learned how to help reduce employee burnout on my team:
- I made sure to always encourage my team to be able to voice their opinion when it comes to the implementation of their programs.
- I always advocate for my team to be at the decision-making table especially because they are part of the community that we serve.
- Each employee accrues personal, sick, and vacation hours and I always encourage them to take this time when they need to.
- Several times a year I would also reward my team by bringing them lunch or grabbing donuts in the morning.
- I also recognize all of my teams’ individual birthdays in the office with their favorite dessert and a card that is individually signed from the entire team.
Being your own advocate
The best way that I handle my own burnout is by removing myself completely from work at times. I tend to always check my email even when I am off the clock but now, I try hard not to. I have accrued a lot of vacation time working and am finally taking advantage of it.
If I ever feel like I am exhausted or getting frustrated from working long hours, I always make sure to at least request an extra day off on a Monday or a Friday to have a three-day weekend.
I also learned that taking my lunch outside the office or taking a walk during my shift has helped me continue the work that I love to do.
Are you living with HIV? (select all that apply)
Join the conversation