Skip to content

Winter wellness - 3 ways to prevent burnout

Winter is firmly upon us, and, as one of the busiest and most demanding times in the sector, Social Care employees are at higher risk of burnout. Here’s how you can keep staff healthy, happy, and engaged this winter.

What is employee well-being?

Employee well-being is a combination of employees' mental, physical, emotional, and financial health. Typically, the four pillars of employee well-being go hand-in-hand. When employers nurture wellbeing-centric cultures, they see happier, loyal, and more profitable workforces. 

Employee well-being is especially important in Social Care. Frontline workers often face vulnerable emotional, physical, mental, and financial situations with their patients and residents — especially in the tough winter months. 

Burnt-out employees are more likely to take more sick leave or quit. If you’re rethinking retention for your social care workers, you’ll want to start with their well-being.

kinga-cichewicz-FVRTLKgQ700-unsplashThree ways to care for employees when winter arrives

 Unfortunately, this winter is set to be one of the bleakest we’ve faced in recent years. Fewer than one in ten adult social care directors believe they have enough funding and staff to get through the winter months.

With this winter being the first since the pandemic began with practically no Covid measures in place, many vulnerable people are at risk. This will lead to an increase in demand for care.

The risk of burnout this winter is higher than ever, and employee well-being should be at the top of every social care employer’s wishlist. Here are three employee well-being tactics you could consider to combat winter burnout..  

1. Regular formal and informal well-being check-ins 

The lack of sunlight, infamous ‘January blues’, and higher energy prices will all contribute towards lower moods over the coming months. 

It’s crucial that managers have regular well-being check-ins with staff to ensure everyone’s physically and mentally well, better predict absences, and boost morale. 

Busy managers might not physically cross paths as often with their front-line staff. 

Don’t wait until everyone is able to re-group at the next team meeting Consider implementing an internal communications app that:

  • Respects employees’ privacy
  • Avoids email fatigue
  • Enables managers to check in on their teams on a more informal basis

See how Sona can help you increase employee well-being and morale this winter.

2. Stay on top of the schedule

Nothing will drain an employee’s festive spirit quicker than being called into work at short notice just before Christmas. 

While higher levels of planned and unplanned absences make keeping a full roster harder over the holiday season, aim to have your rotas planned a little further in advance than normal. 

Ensure there is one central view of who is working when and where so that there is no confusion and any gaps or issues can easily be spotted and resolved. A digital version is ideal, of course.

The same principle of forward planning applies to annual leave allocations. If circumstances allow, encourage employees with unused holiday to take some extra time off. 

thomas-park-hk2oPKuCqP0-unsplash3. Consider a travel stipend 

With the dropping temperatures, ongoing tube and train strikes, and higher chances of poor driving conditions, travel is going to be tough this Winter. 

If you’ve got the budget, implement an urgent travel stipend to help your employees get to their destination when their typical means of transport fails them. Speak to local transport businesses to see if they might be able to help too or provide discounted rates.

Related to this, staff might need to wait around for longer periods of time before or after a shift because of travel disruption. Take the opportunity to make your staff rooms as comfortable and convenient as possible. Or if there isn’t a common space on site, explore how this could be addressed.

Focus on winter wellness to prevent holiday burnout

Winter doesn’t have to be doom and gloom. 

Make the most of winter by directly addressing its challenges for your social care team while highlighting its beauty. Use internal campaigns to build comradery that so many people need during these tougher months. 

Don’t let burnout get the better of your team this winter. Implement a winter wellness strategy today. 

Subscribe to our newsletter for more tips on employee engagement & well-being direct to your inbox and stay tuned for more holiday-themed content over the coming days.