According to the Simmons School of Social Work, social services professionals are often susceptible to burnout because of the high levels of empathy required for the job. Burnout is work-related physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. In order to combat burnout in the social services field, Simmons staff suggests encouraging self-care in the human services agency.
So, what is self-care? It is a way to balance activities and sustain long-term happiness in careers and relationships by being mindful of your needs and limitations. There are various ways to promote self-care in your agency, but Simmons staff also suggest including self-care activities in job descriptions, evaluations, and agendas for supervision and meetings.
Here at Hildebrand we promote self-care in a variety of ways.
Last year the leadership staff at Hildebrand created an Employee Recognition Program. This peer-to-peer recognition program is a way for Hildebrand staff to nominate their peers for exemplary contributions. It provides the opportunity for staff to applaud the hard work and effort of their co-workers. The nominations are read aloud during a bi-monthly networking event. This networking event is led by leadership staff and allows staff members of all departments to come together to recognize one another’s achievements and spend time together. The networking events help to promote a positive, team environment and are an important moment for self-care for our staff.
In addition to recognizing our staff for the work they do, Hildebrand integrates self-care into the agency by holding a monthly self-care activity. Designed by the Employee Engagement Committee, Hildebrand “Self-Care Mondays” are a designated hour for staff to spend time together on a self-care activity. The monthly activities have included board games, creating a vision board, and a group painting activity. “Self-Care Mondays” are a way for staff to engage in non-work related activities with one another that encourage mindfulness and team building.
Here at Hildebrand we recognize that each member of our team works diligently with our families to find resources, secure housing, and encourage them to continue towards self-sufficiency. As Hildebrand reflects on the positive impact our staff has on our families, we realize the importance of also taking time to recognize the work our team does. Our networking events and “Self-Care Mondays” creates these important opportunities to appreciate our amazing team.