Addressing Employee Burnout in the Nonprofit Sector

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I was recently asked how nonprofit/social services leaders can effectively address employee burnout.  Here are the strategies I’ve seen work best:

  1. Be Strategic:  Organizations that prioritize their employee’s well-being as part of the overall strategic plan do the best at avoiding and addressing burnout. 

  2. Promote Boundaries:  Encourage employees to take breaks, including vacation time.  Leaders need to model good boundaries too.

  3. Implement an Employee Assistance Program (EAP):  Employees in stressful professions need access to confidential, low/no-cost counseling services.  EAPs can be relatively inexpensive and they pay off in dividends.

  4. Facilitate Debriefings:  Employee meetings where the goal is to “debrief” or “staff cases,” de-stress, and share support/resources are critical to the health of the organization.

  5. Encourage Self-Care:  Self-care/wellness needs to be a core value of the organization.  Self-care can be promoted in meetings, employee communications, and company-organized employee activities. 

Does your organization need help addressing employee burnout?

Over my 15-year HR career, I’ve coached and trained nonprofit leaders and employees to prevent and address employee burnout.  If your organization needs a HR expert to help, contact me today:


Skye Mercer, MBA, SPHR, SHRM-SCP

HR Consultant

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Skye Mercer