Posted: 04 May 2023 7 min. read

Seven strategies to avoid employee burnout

Prioritizing employee well-being in the workplace

Authored by Steve Hatfield, Tim Collins, and Mackenzi Greene

The fragile state of workforce well-being

Addressing employee burnout is something organizations are all too familiar with. But with the rise in “quiet quitting,” or bringing less than your best effort to work, innovative workforce strategies are needed more than ever. Empowering employees to establish balanced and sustainable work norms will help reinforce flexibility and support employee well-being in the workplace.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the “Great Resignation” have illuminated the fragile state of workforce well-being. Well-being is a top workplace priority for employees, especially for millennials and Generation Z, who will make up one-fourth of the workforce by just 2025 (Zurich Media). Employees cannot sustain a constant state of burnout and fatigue, but informed leaders can reimagine well-being from being an aspiration to a point of differentiation that will directly influence their organization’s costs, productivity, retention, and ultimately, success.

Companies may think they have employee well-being in the workplace covered, but the data shows otherwise.​ According to the recent Deloitte Global Ways of Working Study, 74% ​of the workforce agrees that their organization needs to be doing more to address the root causes of worker burnout. Additionally, recent studies show that motivated, high-performing employees are suffering a “passion tax” at the hands of managers who assign them more work, meaning the strongest employees are the ones most at risk to burn out and leave. Organizations should mitigate this by ensuring workloads are balanced and proactively seeking feedback from employees, as workers supported with a holistic well-being strategy are more engaged and better for business.

Investing in a well-rounded approach to well-being means going beyond “checking the box” with disparate wellness activities and empty taglines. ​To drive engagement, well-being, and business results in today’s talent marketplace, organizations need to have a relationship-first approach with the workforce to enable an environment where the workforce can perform and flourish.​

From wellness to performance

Wellness refers to a limited focus to reduce physical health risks and costs, while well-being addresses the physical, financial, mental, emotional, and social aspects that impact worker engagement and performance. Well-being today includes:

Organizations should consider addressing all aspects of workforce well-being to compete in today’s market. To sustainably transform employee well-being in the workplace for the future, organizations should challenge legacy approaches that no longer serve the workforce, adopt an innovative strategy that clearly defines future outcomes, and seek to understand and resolve the causes of burnout.

Download the Avoiding Burnout infographic

Seven strategies to avoid employee burnout

  1. Reframe the conversation from rewards to relationships to encourage the organization to develop deeper and more effective relationships with its workforce. Teaming and collaboration play a critical role in ensuring that the workforce can thrive in hybrid team environments and do work efficiently and sustainably.
  2. Reimagine well-being offerings to be flexible and customizable by the individual to support hybrid work and well-being demands. Conduct a workforce assessment to determine worker needs and preferences to personalize planning.
  3. Establish a business case for expanding the organization’s well-being approach by evaluating strategic options, costs, and the vendor landscape. Identify connection points to your organization’s culture, diversity and inclusion, and employee experience.
  4. Develop a well-being strategy that encapsulates purpose, connects employees to their work, and creates a diverse, inclusive, and accepting environment for a fulfilling experience. Bring purpose to the forefront by connecting the organization’s values to the values of your workforce.
  5. Assess and monitor ongoing program results and workforce needs to optimize the impact of your well-being programs, utilizing workforce insights and well-being analytics. Changes like these are no longer a feeling, but a science—and should be managed as such.
  6. Rethink the approach to well-being with hybrid-friendly programs to enhance the workforce experience and increase retention. This includes enforcing work norms that respect boundaries and the diverse situations of in-person and remote workers.
  7. Prioritize effective leadership coaching and performance management as integral to influencing and keeping a pulse on employee well-being. High-performing organizations focus on purpose and mindset over processes and models, emphasizing growth and development to build trust and engagement.

The path to employee well-being in the workplace

These strategies do not require a C-level title or a seismic shift in strategy to employ. The most effective managers use one or more of these strategies with their teams, reducing burnout for those around them, themselves, and the organization they power. To discover more ways of working for your team or organization, follow the links below or find more on

Additional well-being resources:

By Deloitte’s Chief Well-being Officer, Jen Fisher:




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