3 strategies to alleviate supply chain staff burnout

Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted healthcare providers in many significant ways.

In addition to transforming the medical supply chain and how we delivery patient care, the mental health of healthcare providers, including supply chain leaders, has also been greatly affected. Increased demand in workloads and added workplace stressors have caused an increase in staff burnout, which also places additional pressure on the overall mental health of supply chain staff. In honor of National Mental Health awareness month this May, here are three strategies gathered from experts and healthcare organizations for leaders to help alleviate staff burnout and increase the overall mental health of their team: 

  1. Encourage staff wellness

    According to a recent study, workplace stress management interventions are effective at reducing stress for hospital staff dealing with burnout.1 Cognitive behavioral training (CBT) interventions show the highest efficacy, followed by relaxation techniques. CBT teaches staff to identify and name their stressors, notice the consequences of stress, and identify the relationship between stress and self-awareness. It also offers alternative ways to think about stress and negative emotions. Relaxation techniques can include diaphragmatic breathing, meditation and visualizations, exercise, or speaking with a mental health care professional. Instituting simple suggestions such as mindfulness meetings and words of encouragement can go a long way toward improving how staff feel at work.

  2. Allow for schedule flexibility

    Since overworking and stressful work environments are cited as causes of burnout,2 enabling flexibility in schedules could be key to alleviating burnout, especially if it allows supply chain staff to take time off or work schedules that better fit their lives. A recent report shows that flexible work practices are an important organizational strategy for building an effective, sustainable workforce of substantive hospital staff.3 Schedule flexibility could include a number of options, but overall communication between supply chain staff is key to understanding how best to add increased flexibility for team member’s schedules.

  3. Help set boundaries between work and life

    Healthy boundaries can make a big difference in reducing stress. Help set the example that when your shift ends, you leave any thoughts, feelings and grievances about work at work and make a point to focus your time spent at home with family, friends and doing activities that you enjoy. Although this might have been hard to separate work and home life during the peak of the pandemic, this strategy should now be much more attainable. 

Staff burnout will not go away on its own, but taking the time to focus on staff well-being will only help to improve the mental health of our supply chain leaders. For more supply chain insights, visit our supply chain center.





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