Encouraging Environments

Employees don’t experience mental health challenges in isolation. Employers play a role, too — both good and bad.

Greenwood, Kelly and Anas, Julia. “It’s a New Era for Mental Health at Work.” Harvard Business Review. 21 Oct. 2021.

While individuals have a responsibility for their well-being, for the type of self-care that helps to prevent burnout, the top researchers in the field – Christina Maslach and Jennifer Moss are two – along with trusted polls like this one conducted by Gallup in 2018, tell us that the root causes of burnout are the workplace and not the worker. In the poll, five causes were identified:

  1. Unfair treatment at work
  2. Unmanageable workload
  3. Lack of role clarity
  4. Lack of communication and support from their manager
  5. Unreasonable time pressure

…picture a canary in a coal mine. They are healthy birds, singing away as they make their way into the cave. But, when they come out full of soot and disease, no longer singing, can you imagine us asking why the canaries made themselves sick? No, because the answer would be obvious: the coal mine is making the birds sick.

Workers Aren’t Burnt Out From the Pandemic. They’re Burnt Out From Overwork (2021, 27 Sep) by Sophie Vershbow for Newsweek

Illustration by Doug Thompson/State Dept.

Benefits of an Encouraging Workplace Environment

  • Less employee work time lost due to sick leave
  • Less absenteeism
  • Less errors
  • Less injuries
  • Less staff turnover
  • Better continuity of care for children
  • Better camaraderie among employees
  • Stronger connections with families

Sources and Resources to Help Improve the ECE Workplace

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