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This year, be the kind of mindful manager that helps prevent employee burnout – The Globe and Mail

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Dr. Geoffrey Soloway.

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Dr. Geoffrey Soloway is founder and chief training director of MindWell-U

Earlier this year, the World Health Organization for the first time classified workplace burnout as an “occupational phenomenon” in the International Classification of Diseases.

Defined as a “prolonged response to chronic interpersonal stressors within the workplace,” burnout is a common problem that affects workers across all industries. Characterized by emotional exhaustion, feelings of depersonalization/disconnection, and negative evaluations of oneself, burnout can wreak havoc on employees, as well as have a negative effect on a company’s overall health and productivity.

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Moreover, it is also damaging to the economy. Studies have shown that 500,000 Canadians miss work every week due to mental health and stress-related illness, which costs the economy $50-billion a year, when absenteeism and presenteeism are factored in. Obviously, employee burnout is bad news for business, and managers should be aware of its negative consequences.

So how can a good manager prevent employee burnout?

  • Check yourself. As flight attendants recommend that you put your own oxygen mask on before assisting others in the case of an emergency, managers should consider their own state of mind at work. By working on personal resilience, emotional regulation skills and self-awareness, a compassionate and mindful manager who has the ability to self-regulate will be more likely to support others effectively.
  • Recognize the signs of burnout. For example, if your employee complains of exhaustion, pay attention. Are they consistently working overtime? Constant fatigue can have major consequences in the workplace. From mere sleepiness to forgetfulness, employees and their work can suffer if stress-related sleep deprivation sets in.
  • Improve communication. Meet with employees regularly to discuss work-related issues, but also to chat about what’s going on in their lives outside of work. An ongoing, informal dialogue can build trust and confidence between a manager and an employee, and it allows the manager the space to check-in with the employee if they notice any unusual behaviour. If an employee is struggling, they will be much more likely to share their feelings with an attentive (and non- judgmental) manager who encourages open conversation.
  • Encourage mindful check-ins. Start meetings with a moment for everyone to notice how they’re feeling and share one word to capture their state of mind; develop a team cue or catchphrase to help bring people back into the present moment when stress hits.
  • Encourage and support monotasking versus multitasking. Encourage employees to “go deep” when needed, and abide by boundaries set during these periods. For example, if your employee needs an hour on Mondays to do some distraction-free, heads-down writing, respect that time and refrain from booking meetings during the allotted hour.
  • Walk the walk when it comes to work-life balance and mental health. While at an organizational level, many companies boast of a strong emphasis on work-life balance, it’s often mere lip service when it comes to actually implementing policies that will help employees from burning out at work. Employers who don’t deliver when it comes to work-life balance and mental health initiatives will suffer in terms of employee retention. Especially as millennials flood the workforce, potential employees are looking at the mental health and wellness benefits offered by an organization before they sign up to work there. A good manager will enforce policies to encourage a healthy work-life balance, such as giving employees the option to work from home occasionally, and insisting that vacation time be used. When it comes to mental health, managers should promote healthy routines in the workplace, such as taking breaks for exercise and practising mindfulness. A recent study between Mindwell, the University of British Columbia and the University of Queensland showed a significant decrease in employee burnout and a significant increase of work engagement amongst staff at a Canadian health authority which participated in a mindfulness challenge.

Happily, in the past few years, we’ve seen a decline in stigma surrounding mental health, and an increasing number of organizations offering mental wellness programs. It seems to be paying off. A recent analysis by Deloitte Insights found a median return on investment of $1.62 for every $1 spent a company spends on investing in workplace mental health, with an ROI of $2.18 for programs that had been launched at least three years ago. Clearly, caring about your employees’ mental health is good for your company’s bottom line.

Keep that in mind when battling burnout in the workplace.

This column is part of Globe Careers’ Leadership Lab series, where executives and experts share their views and advice about leadership and management. Follow us at @Globe_Careers. Find all Leadership Lab stories at tgam.ca/leadershiplab.

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B.C. announces vaccines sites ahead of booking COVID-19 shots appointments Monday – The Tri-City News

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VICTORIA — Health authorities across British Columbia announced locations for COVID-19 vaccine centres Sunday, the day before some of the province’s oldest residents could start booking appointments to get their first shots. 

Vaccine call centres are set to open Monday morning to make COVID-19 vaccine appointments for people 90 and older, and Indigenous people 65 or older, as well as those who identify as Indigenous elders.

Island Health officials said Sunday 19 community sites across Vancouver Island have been identified to administer COVID-19 vaccines and 25 community sites in the Vancouver Coastal Health region will be used as clinic locations.

The Interior, Northern and Fraser health authorities say they will confirm vaccination sites with people when they book a COVID-19 appointment.

“We recognize that there’s lots of people that are eager to call in and get going (Monday), so just another reminder that please, unless you are in that category of over 90 or Indigenous over 65 or you identify as an elder, please don’t call next week so we can get through this important population,'” said Victoria Schmid, Island Health’s pandemic planner.

“Your turn will come,” she said at a news conference Sunday. “We just need everyone to be patient right now.”

People can contact their health authority and book appointments for themselves or their spouse, and family members or friends are permitted to schedule an appointment on someone else’s behalf, Schmid said.

People will be asked to provide the person’s first and last name, date of birth, postal code and personal health number and will be asked for an email address or text number to confirm the COVID-19 vaccine appointment, she said..

People born in 1936 or earlier can start calling for appointments on March 15 and those born in 1941 or earlier can start scheduling their shots on March 22.

Schmid said she expected the appointments to last about 30 minutes, which includes a 15-minute waiting period following the administration of the vaccine.

She suggested people wear short sleeves to make it easier to give the vaccine and not to forget a mask.

A support person to can accompany people to the vaccine clinic, she said.

Schmid said sites for the community clinics were chosen for their accessibility and comfort and familiarity for Indigenous people.

“Ease of access was really important to us,” she said. “We really tried to keep a travel time to no more than 15 minutes within urban areas. We want to make sure these sites are accessible for individuals with mobility challenges.”

Immunization clinics will also be held at Indigenous friendship centres in Victoria, Port Alberni and Port Hardy, Schmid said.

Vancouver Coastal Health said in a news release its clinics will be located cross Metro Vancouver and the Squamish and Whistler areas and the Sunshine Coast. The clinics will be held at community, friendship, senior and cultural centres and other regional sites.

The health authorities plan to have B.C.’s population of elderly people, ranging in age from 80 to more than 90 years and Indigenous people 65 and older and elders, vaccinated against COVID-19 by April 12, Schmid said.

She said a person 90 years and older who calls next week for a COVID-19 vaccination will get their appointment within one week.

“They have a week to register for the following week’s vaccination appointment,” said Schmid. “After that, we’re going to move to register those over 85 and then moving down the week after to those over 80.”

Island Health’s Dr. Mike Benusic said he’s optimistic about the vaccination rollout.

“The announcements we’re giving right now provide me with such a sense of hope,” he said. “The fact is right now we have 25 times the number of people vaccinated within Island Health than people who have had COVID-19 within Island Health, and we’re only going to see that number sky rocket in the next few weeks and months.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2021.

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

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B.C. call centres open to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments for elderly, Indigenous – The Tri-City News

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VICTORIA — Call centres open today across British Columbia to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments for some of the province’s most elderly residents.

B.C. says the vaccine call centres will open at 7 a.m. at the Fraser, Island, Interior, Northern and Vancouver Coastal health authorities to make appointments for people 90 years and older and Indigenous people who are 65 and older or identify as elders.

Health authorities announced dozens of sites Sunday where B.C.’s most elderly residents will go to receive their vaccine.

Island Health’s pandemic planner Victoria Schmid says people 90 years old and older and Indigenous people 65 and older who make appointments this week will get their COVID-19 vaccine next week.

She says those born in 1936 or earlier can start calling for appointments on March 15 and those born in 1941 or earlier can start to schedule their vaccine appointments March 22.

Schmid says the plan aims to have all people in the province 80 years and older and Indigenous people 65 and older receiving one shot of COVID-19 vaccine by April 12.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 8, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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B.C. announces vaccines sites ahead of booking COVID-19 shots appointments Monday – PrinceGeorgeMatters.com

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VICTORIA — Health authorities across British Columbia announced locations for COVID-19 vaccine centres Sunday, the day before some of the province’s oldest residents could start booking appointments to get their first shots. 

Vaccine call centres are set to open Monday morning to make COVID-19 vaccine appointments for people 90 and older, and Indigenous people 65 or older, as well as those who identify as Indigenous elders.

Island Health officials said Sunday 19 community sites across Vancouver Island have been identified to administer COVID-19 vaccines and 25 community sites in the Vancouver Coastal Health region will be used as clinic locations.

The Interior, Northern and Fraser health authorities say they will confirm vaccination sites with people when they book a COVID-19 appointment.

“We recognize that there’s lots of people that are eager to call in and get going (Monday), so just another reminder that please, unless you are in that category of over 90 or Indigenous over 65 or you identify as an elder, please don’t call next week so we can get through this important population,'” said Victoria Schmid, Island Health’s pandemic planner.

“Your turn will come,” she said at a news conference Sunday. “We just need everyone to be patient right now.”

People can contact their health authority and book appointments for themselves or their spouse, and family members or friends are permitted to schedule an appointment on someone else’s behalf, Schmid said.

People will be asked to provide the person’s first and last name, date of birth, postal code and personal health number and will be asked for an email address or text number to confirm the COVID-19 vaccine appointment, she said..

People born in 1936 or earlier can start calling for appointments on March 15 and those born in 1941 or earlier can start scheduling their shots on March 22.

Schmid said she expected the appointments to last about 30 minutes, which includes a 15-minute waiting period following the administration of the vaccine.

She suggested people wear short sleeves to make it easier to give the vaccine and not to forget a mask.

A support person to can accompany people to the vaccine clinic, she said.

Schmid said sites for the community clinics were chosen for their accessibility and comfort and familiarity for Indigenous people.

“Ease of access was really important to us,” she said. “We really tried to keep a travel time to no more than 15 minutes within urban areas. We want to make sure these sites are accessible for individuals with mobility challenges.”

Immunization clinics will also be held at Indigenous friendship centres in Victoria, Port Alberni and Port Hardy, Schmid said.

Vancouver Coastal Health said in a news release its clinics will be located cross Metro Vancouver and the Squamish and Whistler areas and the Sunshine Coast. The clinics will be held at community, friendship, senior and cultural centres and other regional sites.

The health authorities plan to have B.C.’s population of elderly people, ranging in age from 80 to more than 90 years and Indigenous people 65 and older and elders, vaccinated against COVID-19 by April 12, Schmid said.

She said a person 90 years and older who calls next week for a COVID-19 vaccination will get their appointment within one week.

“They have a week to register for the following week’s vaccination appointment,” said Schmid. “After that, we’re going to move to register those over 85 and then moving down the week after to those over 80.”

Island Health’s Dr. Mike Benusic said he’s optimistic about the vaccination rollout.

“The announcements we’re giving right now provide me with such a sense of hope,” he said. “The fact is right now we have 25 times the number of people vaccinated within Island Health than people who have had COVID-19 within Island Health, and we’re only going to see that number sky rocket in the next few weeks and months.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 7, 2021.

Dirk Meissner, The Canadian Press

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