Burnout isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a real issue that can disrupt the wellbeing and effectiveness of AmeriCorps members. As a helper yourself, I’m sure you’ve been there before. But here’s the kicker: as program staff, you have a pivotal role in identifying and preventing this emotional and physical fatigue. Let’s talk about why you should care, what to look out for, and how to support your members before burnout breaks them down.
Why You Should Care?
- Connection to Member Lifecycle: Recognizing that burnout often occurs as members transition from the honeymoon phase to facing reality can help you preemptively address it. You have perspective that they can certainly benefit from.
- Access to Support: The Member Assistance Program hosted by America’s Service Commissions is a great benefit that you can provide to members and you are the conduit by which they access that benefit.
- Long-term Success: Healthy, supported members are more likely to complete their service term successfully, benefiting both your program and the communities you serve.
Recognizing Signs of Burnout
Burnout doesn’t happen overnight. It manifests gradually, making it easier to miss if you’re not paying attention. Here’s what to watch for:
- Decreased performance or enthusiasm
- Frequent absences or tardiness
- Physical symptoms like headaches or tiredness
- Emotional outbursts or withdrawal
Strategies to Prevent Burnout
Utilize the CARE Framework
- Check-In: Regularly touch base with your members. Don’t just ask how they are—ask how they’re feeling about their work, what challenges they’re facing, and what support they need.
- Assess: If you notice signs of stress or burnout, assess the situation without judgment. Sometimes, the best support you can offer is a listening ear.
- Respond Quickly and Cautiously: Time is of the essence, but your response should also be carefully considered. Take immediate action, but ensure it aligns with the member’s needs and your program’s resources.
- Earn Trust: The best way to get honest feedback is to build a trusting relationship. Be consistent, be reliable, and most importantly, be there.
Take the Next Step: Register Your Members for “Breaking Up With Burnout” on 11/15!
You’ve read the signs, and you know the strategies. Now, take the next step to safeguard your members from burnout by registering them for our “Breaking Up With Burnout” workshop. This workshop is specifically designed to equip AmeriCorps members with the tools they need to prevent and cope with burnout.
On Zoom, Wednesday, November 15th from 11am-12:30pm PT / 12-1:30pm MT / 1-2:30pm CT / 2-3:30pm ET.
The workshops is free for AmeriCorps members whose programs & service commissions use the Impact Suite.
$35/Member for Everyone Else.
If you are an America Learns client, please register your members.