Can a sector focused on taking care of others be selfish enough to take care of itself?
We have a burnout problem as a sector. Turnover rates at nonprofits are on the increase and are over 19%. Among frontline workers, it’s even higher. We are far too often so busy taking care of others that we neglect to take care of ourselves.
I think there is a stigma in many organizations (and the culture as a whole) around self-care. It can seem selfish (as if that’s always a bad thing). It can feel vulnerable to admit that you need to be taken care of. Aren’t you supposed to be the one taking care of everyone else?
The thing is that poor self-care causes our organizations to not be as effective as they could be. Aetna started working to employ mindfulness across their organization and saw stress levels drop by 28%, pain drop by 19%, and quality of sleep improve by 20% across its workforce. People participating in mindfulness work also saw gained 62 minutes of productivity per week while reducing sick time.
If we can’t take care of ourselves as a sector, how are we really supposed to care for those we work with? If my tank is empty how can I be expected to be productive, creative, and impactful?
Author: Andrew Means