Charity leaders need to do all they can to prevent their staff from burning out, especially under the current climate.
Over the past few years, the UK has experienced crisis after crisis, and it’s taken its toll on charities. Next to stretched resources, funding and heightened demand, charities have been finding it difficult to recruit and retain staff. Because of this, charity workers are taking on an overwhelming workload that is impacting their mental health. This was revealed in a recent report by Pro Bono Economics which found that a staggering 70% of charity employee respondents are experiencing an increased workload, 24% of which noted stress and burnout as a result.
Avoiding burnout is only possible if your organisation supports you properly. So, if you’re not spearheading a healthy, balanced work-life, then you can’t expect your staff to always give 100%.
Your organisation will run so much smoother if you put staff wellbeing at the top of your to-do list. Think about it, as a manager, you don’t want your team to feel tired, overwhelmed or stressed, as it will ultimately impact your organisation’s ability to do good for the world.
Prioritising wellbeing is crucial for a happy and healthy team who feels energised to play their role in making a difference. Here are some things you should consider doing to make sure your staff are supported in the workplace:
Offer your staff a three-day weekend
It’s been proven that a four-day week can help staff productivity, wellbeing and morale. At DSC, we changed over to what we call a three-day weekend back in 2021, and although it took us a minute to iron everything out, it was worth it because we’ve found it works for us. This extra day is one of the best things you can do for your staff. Hours stay the same, they’re just condensed down to four slightly longer days. We also have two teams, one that works Monday-Thursday and one that works Tuesday-Friday, this makes sure that someone’s always around to help our beneficiaries, i.e. you. We’re massive advocates of the three-day weekend, so if you’d like to talk to us about the process, please get in touch.
Encourage staff to take screen breaks
Staring at a screen for hours on end is not good for our brains or bodies. Managers – lead by example and ensure you and your team take regular breaks from your screens and definitely encourage daily walks. Can you have a casual meeting whilst you’re both taking a walk? It might feel like a bit of an effort to get started, but why not give it a go?
Discourage working overtime
We really need to move away from normalising overtime, it’s unhealthy and unfair on staff. I realise that every now and then it may be impossible to avoid, however, as a manager, you should be nudging your team to set healthy boundaries. If you’re seeing them struggle with their workload, help them prioritise their tasks.
If you’re working from home, make time for your staff to have a natter
We spend a large proportion of our time at work, so it’s crucial that we make room for moments of connection. After all, we are social creatures who love a good chat, and without it, working from home can make you feel isolated and lonely. Set aside 20 minutes each week for all your staff to get together and chat about non-work-related things. We do this at DSC, and it helps you feel more connected with your team.
Promote reading as a form of learning
Why not diversify your team’s development and provide them with books to read during work hours. Our CEO Debra Allcock Tyler has provided the marketing team with two books to read over the next few months – ‘How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age’ and ‘Connect!’. Find a book that suits your team and their personal development goals, and tell them to read it during work hours. After a couple of months, you can arrange a group meeting to discuss what you’ve learned. Books can do wonders for provoking innovative ideas, and as a publishing charity, we have loads for you and your team to read! Take a look here.
It’s currently Stress Awareness Month, a lovely prompt for us all to start making our own wellbeing a priority. There are small changes you can make to your organisation that will make all the difference to your team’s morale, you just have to put them in place. It’s hard not to feel a little anxious about the current state of the world, so it’s important that we create spaces that are mindful of others and that have wellbeing at the centre.