Employee burnout — feeling emotionally exhausted, mentally distant from clients, and low levels of personal accomplishment — is a reality for many workers. The challenge is much larger for those who serve on the front line, such as health care workers, social workers, correctional officers and teachers.
Our team has collaborated with multiple agencies across the U.S. to better measure, understand and reduce burnout. For example, we designed and tested a low-cost virtual support program for 911 dispatchers across nine U.S. cities, in collaboration with the Behavioral Insights Team. The intervention reduced self-reported burnout by about 8 points and resignations by more than half (3.4 percentage points) in the post-intervention period.
We’re currently implementing similar interventions with other types of front line workers, and measuring how COVID-19 has exacerbated burnout and other mental health challenges for employees.