Beyond burnout: A New Zealand guide

How to cope with stress and avoid burnout in yourself, your co-workers and employees
Found in: Book Reviews / Self-help
Author: Suzi McAlpine
Book Year: 2021
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 9780143775065
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Beyond burnout: A New Zealand guide

Suzie McAlpine has based her book on her own first-hand experience from her role as an executive coach in an HR consulting firm. She discusses the burnout experiences of people who are typically driven, results-oriented, always busy at work, and push themselves hard to achieve productivity.  

While burnout is prevalent across all professions, McAlpine identifies common causes specifically within the medical, legal and teaching professions. The book discusses the root cause of burnout and provides tools for individuals, leaders, and organisations to take action to prevent burnout. The strategies mentioned in the book will not be effective unless they are adopted by leaders and employers. 

To combat burnout, organisations should reduce stress from the top and not push staff above their capacity. She advocates putting a solid support system in place to address employees’ wellbeing as well as their physical health. Alongside this, leaders should create a trusting environment so when employees seem tired or unproductive, they feel comfortable to open up, share their experiences, and explain what is going on for them. McAlpine includes useful coaching questions for leaders to provide them with the skills to facilitate a deep, clear, and private conversation. A solution that both employee and employer agree on, rather than temporary fixes, needs to be implemented for burnout to be truly resolved.   

The appendices provide thorough descriptions of the stages of burnout and useful tools to recognise it. This book is not aimed just at executives, but for employees across all departments. Overall, it is an easy read written in everyday language, with good tips, useful insights, and clear information. I rate it 4 stars out of 5.  

Reviewed by Maricel Fogarty

Beyond burnout: A New Zealand guide

Disclaimer: Please note these reviews are not intended as endorsements or recommendations from the Mental Health Foundation. This feature introduces resources that may be useful for individuals with an interest in mental health and wellbeing topics.