Action candid portrait of medical team walking down hospital corridor

Employee engagement and burnout are critical issues for every organization, but this has been especially true in healthcare. Since the Covid-19 pandemic, staff have endured increased workloads under strenuous conditions, creating a retention risk at a time when – according a study in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings – 1 in five doctors and 2 in five nurses intend to quit the industry, and organizations are struggling to meet staffing requirements.

One way to address burnout is by encouraging communication, both from management to staff and between peers, and this is where Microsoft 365 can help. While you might think of Microsoft’s platform as just a place to store documents, apps like SharePoint, Teams, and Yammer can be used to maintain healthy, two-way and peer-to-peer communication among your staff, keeping them engaged and connected.

Here are a few specific ways to leverage Microsoft 365 to address burnout.

  • Create space for social (not just task-related) communication

Microsoft 365 provides many ways for staff to connect with one another, whether it’s chat and web meetings on Teams, forums and blog posts on SharePoint, social media style communities in Yammer, or even secure HIPAA-compliant instant messaging in Kaizala.  

And while these tools can be used for practical tasks such as managing projects, sharing schedules, answering questions about coding, or capturing patient information, they can also be used for social communication to help team members feel more engaged with their team and the organization.

One drawback of working in a distributed team is losing a sense of place and proximity to colleagues.  Creating a “home base” for each department in Microsoft Teams where employees can let their teammates know they’re working and chat with each other throughout the day can recreate the connection that colleagues feel naturally in a physical workplace.  And setting aside a channel in each Teams space specifically for social chat can encourage bonding and relieve stress.  

In larger organizations, you can extend employees’ social space beyond Teams chat with Yammer communities: Facebook-style social networks where staff can engage in larger conversations across departments.

  • Sharing news

While peer-to-peer connection is important, official communications are also vital for making staff feel like part of a community. Whether it’s notifying department members about new protocols, highlighting the accomplishments of your overnight care staff, or welcoming new teammates from a recently acquired practice, effective comms can help people connect their own work to the organization’s larger mission.

Microsoft 365 offers multiple tools for these types of internal communications, from posting blog-style news articles to a SharePoint intranet site, creating mobile-friendly news feeds in Viva, or designing magazine style newsletters in Sway. And all of these can be delivered via email or posted directly to the Teams spaces where people sign in to work each day.

  • Give HR a platform for talent acquisition, development, and retention

Burnout leads to staffing shortages, which in turn contribute to burnout. Fortunately, there are many ways HR departments can use Microsoft 365 to help counter this cycle.

Your organization can use a combination of SharePoint and Power Automate (or various third-party job board plugins) to advertise available jobs on your intranet and even track candidates through your pipeline.

Once people join, you can use SharePoint pages to summarize benefits information, plus links to the full documentation, or share information on wellness and stress management. And Microsoft Viva can help with your staff’s ongoing career development – assembling a streamlined training catalog that pulls training content from multiple platforms, with an at-a-glance completion reports.


Organizations can use the features of Microsoft 365 to cultivate a more informed and engaged workforce, and mitigate the impact of burnout. If your healthcare organization has questions about leveraging specific Microsoft 365 applications as part of your communication and engagement strategy, we’d be happy to set up a consultation.