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Employee Burnout : Are you equipped to combat the flames?

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Prevalence of Employee Burnout

The prevalence of employee burnout is concerning. The World Health Organization estimates that burnout affects around 20% of employees worldwide. In Canada, however, according to the Angus Reid survey (2021), 32% of Canadian workers were practically burnt out over the past few years and this tendency continues. There was also no significant difference observed between employees who work in the office versus those who work remotely.

Similarly, the American Psychological Association reported that nearly 50% of American employees experienced burnout, with healthcare and education workers experiencing the highest levels. The fast-paced and demanding nature of work in these sectors, along with extended working hours, can lead to exhaustion and despair. Burnout among physicians in the US costs between $440 million and $4.6 billion per year due to increased medical errors, decreased productivity, and staff turnover. To combat this issue, it’s essential to address the root causes rather than just the symptoms.

Take out the fire extinguisher to combat the flames effectively

  1. McKinsey & Company (2020) suggests one way to extinguish the flames of burnout is by creating a supportive workplace culture that fosters collaboration and values employees. Organizations can also prevent burnout by reducing workloads, increasing transparency, promoting work-life balance, and providing opportunities for employee growth and development.

  2. Additionally, organizations can create a supportive community of healing at work with wellness programs that can reduce stress and improve job satisfaction, training, and advancement.

  3. Lastly, encouraging healthy habits, such as taking regular breaks to stretch, providing healthy snacks in the workplace, and offering mental health resources like counseling services and mental health days, can also support employees who are struggling with burnout.


The issue of employee burnout is a significant concern that cannot be ignored. Organizations need to take steps to prioritize the well-being and mental health of their employees to combat this issue. It is important to adopt a systemic approach by examining the work environment, improving processes, providing support, and implementing prevention programs like self-guided wellness exercises to reduce stress and anxiety, to create a positive and supportive workplace culture that reduces burnout and improves productivity.

By prioritizing employee well-being, organizations can also mitigate the risk of serious health problems caused by high levels of job stress. Let us work towards celebrating employee successes rather than mourning their losses due to burnout.


  1. American Psychological Association. (2020). Stress in America: The State of Our Nation. Retrieved from
  2. De Montigny (2021), ICI Toronto,
  3. Harvard Business Review. (2021). How Burnout is Killing American Workers. Retrieved from
  4. Maslach, C. and M. P. Leiter. “Reversing Burnout: How to Rekindle Your Passion for Your Work.” Stanford Social Innovation Review, 2005. Accessed February 2022.
  5. McLean & Company’s (2020), Create a People-First Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy storyboard appendix for sample self-identification questions.
  6. Sutton & al., (1997-2022). Plan to Extinguish Organizational Burnout, Mclean & Company
  7. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. (2021). Job Stress.
  8. Rocket, (2021). “The State of Employee Experience 2021.” Engage. March 2022.
  9. Workplace Burnout: Causes, Effects, and Solutions.” Western Governors University, 6 June 2019.March 2022.
  10. West, C. P., Dyrbye, L. N., Sinsky, C., Shanafelt, T. D., Boone, S., Tan, L., … Sinsky, M. (2015).
  11. Interventions to promote physi<cian well-being and reduce burnout. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 90(9), 1207–1216.
  12. “Workplace Health & Safety QLD, Department of Justice and Attorney General. “Managing Change and Work-Related Stress: Tip Sheet 11.” NSW Government, 31 August 2016.March 2022.
  13. World Health Organization. (2021). Burn-out an “occupational phenomenon”: International classification of diseases. Retrieved from