A friend of mine was just told by his boss to take a week off for some burnout prevention. The boss himself had recently returned from an extended sabbatical so his awareness of others’ exhaustion may have been more acute, but why isn’t everyone more conscious about proactive wellness? It’s not talked about enough.

My dissertation advocated for some strategies that would aid in employee retention and one of the questions posed to me was how colleges would afford it. Retention is almost always a positive investment. By the time you factor in the cost of a search (and management time to conduct it), training (and management time to provide it), lost opportunities because of a vacant or inexperienced person in the position, relationships and connections that are lost and the toll it takes on reconstituting the department’s culture, it becomes clear that organizations are far ahead when they retain their productive employees.

We invest money in professional development and a host of other perks for our team members. Don’t neglect wellness time as part of that package. Yes, vacations are lovely, but often jam-packed and full of their own variety of stress. Help your staff create time to decompress and truly recharge. Burnout is far, far easier to prevent than to recover from – for both the individual and the organization.

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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