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Preventing Burnout: What can agencies do? (PART 4)
Photo: Oxfam International
by
Dr. Laurie Pearlman
on
August 28, 2013
| Resilience | Stress & Burnout |

Here are more strategies on how agencies can help prevent burnout: 

Strategy III: Provide training

Task A: Prepare people for their work through orientation to both agency culture and job; training; and information about new assignments, including orientation to the culture for expats.

Task B: Provide training in staff resilience (what it is, why it matters to worker and workplace, how to enhance it).

Task C: Provide training in direct and indirect trauma (what is looks like, how it affects people, how it will affect their work, what to do with it in themselves, and how to work with others who are affected).

Task D: Help workers understand their conflict styles and how to relate to others with different styles; teach conflict management skills including assertiveness so people learn how to express their concerns constructively.

Strategy IV: Provide staff support programs and activities

Task A: Provide competent supervisors and managers who can guide, support, reinforce, and develop staff. Focus on recruiting, training, developing, and supporting managers.

Task B: Balance support and challenge for all workers to combat stress and boredom.

Task C: Attend to fit between worker and workplace, and between worker and job, especially as jobs and job descriptions evolve over time (Maslach & Leiter, 2008).

Task D: Develop work teams to enhance morale, social support, and interdependence across work tasks.

Task E: Provide rest and renewal activities and opportunities to reflect upon and consolidate experiences. This includes time to bounce back and as well as a process beyond debriefing for integrating experiences between deployments.

Task F: Provide regular and frequent access to families and friends (e.g., Skype).

Task G: Provide support for families of deployed people, which might include communication channels, job possibilities for spouses, and virtual support groups for spouses and kids.

Both individual workers and agencies have important roles to play in preventing burnout. When these efforts are harmonized, workers are more effective and satisfied with their jobs, facilitating the important work of humanitarian organizations.

** Leave a reply in the Comment box below to let us know which strategy or task you would like to know more about! After collecting feedback, we will elaborate on those that are frequently mentioned in a subsequent blog post.  

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