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Self-care isn’t a one and done (and neither is wellbeing in the workplace)

burnout coaching leadership Nov 21, 2023

Shall we play a game of true or false?  Come on, it’ll be fun!

Ok, here goes.

I ran a 5k once so now I can just put on my running shoes and run a marathon – true or false?

I did some reps with my 15 kg dumbbells so now I’m ready to win the Olympic weightlifting team – true or false?

Ok, how about this one …

I went to bed really early last night as I’ve been feeling a bit run down over the last few weeks, and I can now limit my sleep for the rest of the year and stay healthy – true or false?

In case you need me to tell you the answers, they are false, false, and false, but you know that already.

So why when it comes to wellbeing in the workplace do you think that one event a year is going to make the difference for you and your people?

When I started my career in HR back in 1998, I wanted to stop the Monday-to-Friday dying syndrome that I saw so many of my friends and family experiencing on a daily basis. 

I genuinely wanted to change the world of work for the better.  To create happy, healthy, and high-performing workplaces.

And I was able to do this to some extent.

But in the latter years of my in-house HR days, all I found myself doing was arguing with toxic Exec colleagues who didn’t care about the people at all, redundancies, and writing strategies. 

Not exactly what I had in mind when I was climbing the corporate ladder to create an impact in the organisation.

Of course, it wasn’t all bad.  For the most part, I loved my work.  I still do.

I loved coaching and developing people.  I loved speaking with and listening to people about what they needed and what they wanted.  I loved thinking outside the box, burning the handbook, and simplifying the world of work by putting people first.

In 2002 I was focusing on individualism in the workplace.  In 2008 I scrapped annual performance appraisals.  In 2019 I implemented four-day working.  And I did a lot more in between because I truly believe that the world of work can be a positive, happy, and healthy place to be.

And yet every single day I’m speaking to people who are reaching Burnout. 

People who desperately want clarity and direction from their leaders. 

People who want to be seen and heard and valued and appreciated and respected and paid fairly and invested in.

People who are stressed, overwhelmed, and exhausted.

People who have given all they can to their employer and who are now jeopardising their own wellbeing. 

They’ve worked long hours, they’ve said yes to too many things, they’ve picked up too many of the pieces and too much of the responsibility that others should have done, and they have nothing left to give.

So, they are starting to implement boundaries and what happens? You tell them that they are disengaged, becoming lazy, or quietly quitting.

You can’t throw a wellbeing party or a webinar once a year and expect this to fix everything that’s wrong in your workplace.

Anti-Burnout Workplaces are created through the way you do everything.

Psychologically safe workplaces are created through the way you do everything.

Happy, healthy, and high-performing workplaces are created through the way you do everything.

You don’t need a ton more policies or a million more strategies, you need to look at everything that you do, and put people at the heart of your organisation to Banish Burnout in the changing world of work.

If you want to create wellbeing in your workplace, the best thing that you can do is forget about one and done and ask yourself if what you are doing and expecting your people to do daily will lead to happiness health or high performance, or whether you’re creating a work environment for Burnout to thrive.


I'm the Executive Anti-Burnout Coach for Leaders and their teams at

Clients hire me to help them to transform the way they do things so that they can create health and high performance for themselves and their organisations.

I work with Leaders from around the world, empowering them to excel in their careers without reaching Burnout along the way.



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