EY tackles staff burnout with new wellbeing initiative

Professional services organisation EY has taken a new approach to employee wellbeing by pledging to tackle burnout among employees.


Its latest initiative, Health EY, which was launched in February 2014, has a strong focus on mental wellbeing, which it believes is the biggest cause for concern within the organisation.

Health EY includes the introduction of mental health first-aiders across the organisation. These are employees that will be trained to act as a first point of call for colleagues seeking help or advice.

EY trains its employees to spot the key signs of burnout, such as stress. It has also created a mental health buddy scheme to provide an informal support network.

Susie Gray, employee relations manager at EY, says: “It is our way of getting employees to acknowledge that burnout and mental illness exist and to help staff understand the associated issues. We want to give employees confidence to deal with these issues. We are not asking them to be counsellors.”

The organisation also runs monthly health education campaigns, including sessions around behaviour theory and healthy eating. EY has also established clinical care pathways for muscular, mental and physical health conditions.

“Anyone can access these,” says Gray. “We want to remove the stigma of burnout. These are tools that employees know are there and signpost them to clinical help.”

EY pledged to focus on employee healthcare and wellbeing after signing up to the Department of Health’s Public Health Responsibility Deal.

Gray adds: “The deal means we don’t lose focus and it is good for us. We don’t want our employees burning out that is why we feel our approach works.

“We have these great topics and acknowledge all quarters of health, but what’s next is reaching out to more people to get to those who have a fear of coming to the events we run. It’s all about removing the stigma associated with workplace burnout.”