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How household name businesses are battling burnout

1/6/2022

Employers are helping their workers douse burnout with various approaches.

When it comes to the most reliable ways to lose weight, eating less and exercising more is a go-to solution. And for recovery from burnout, you can't go wrong with some good old-fashioned R&R.

But similar to the strategies people turn to when waging war with their waistlines, employers are looking for more outside-the-box solutions to help their staff members more effectively battle burnout, or even better, stave it off entirely. With Americans leaving their jobs in record numbers in 2021 — which acutely impacted the trucking industry — businesses are hopeful that their efforts will make a difference.

Here are a few of the approaches from some well-known businesses. While these organizations aren't motor carriers, they may serve as a source of inspiration for how you can help your drivers better manage and cope with their (often) hectic work schedules:

Unpaid sabbatical for long-tenured employees
Commercial truck driving isn't the only industry in which work hours often reach overtime territory — the same goes for financial services. Because of this, Goldman Sachs Group is implementing unpaid sabbatical for qualifying employees. As The Wall Street Journal reported, the multinational investment bank recently informed its workers that employees who've been with the company for 15 years or more will be eligible for unpaid sabbatical that would allow them to take as much as six weeks off from work.

"We're focused on delivering energy optimization, resilience and mental-health programs that support our people in caring for themselves and their families," said Bentley de Beyer, global head of human capital management at Goldman Sachs, in an emailed statement to Bloomberg.

JP Morgan Chase & Co. as well as Citigroup are also taking steps toward diminishing burnout, with the latter urging employees to make sure that their lunch hours are zero-meeting hours, according to The Wall Street Journal. Citigroup has further advised staff to cap those meetings at no longer than 45 minutes rather than the typical 60 minutes.

Company-wide mental health day or week
According to the World Health Organization, World Mental Health Day is October 10, but increasingly, employers are blocking off certain work days purely so employees can recharge their brain batteries — one of which is Bumble. In June, the mobile dating app developer gave its entire workforce a full week off to use as they pleased.

In a tweet, a senior executive at Bumble applauded the decision, saying Whitney Wolfe Herd "correctly intuited our collective burnout," BBC News reported. Wolf Herd is the founder of Bumble.

Make certain workdays special
From casual Fridays to takeout Tuesdays, attaching themes to certain workdays helps to break up the monotony and give employees something to look forward to.

That's what Boeing is doing, turning Fridays into meeting-free days. "They help reduce stress and create a more positive work environment," Mike D'Ambrose, executive vice president at Boeing, told The Wall Street Journal.

He added that because some meetings may be impossible to put off, he's given team managers the decision on when or whether to clear meetings from Friday work schedules.

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