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Question:

Discuss about the Analysis on Employee Burnout.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction

There are numerous cases of discontentment as well as an increase in the workload of staff in various working environments as well as job descriptions. Such cases lead to deterioration in productivity as well as the reduction in the overall performance of the task under which the staff is subject to being enrolled. The overall effect of continuity of such an occurrence leads to the formulation of a phenomenon known as burnout (Bakker, Emmerik, and Euwema, 2006).

Burnout is a term with reference to the overall manifestation of stress in terms of the exhibition of a response that results from the stress of the mind, body and emotional disorientation of the personality (Newell, and MacNeil, 2010). Schaufeli, Leiter, and Maslach, (2009) expounds of the above by arguing that it is due to the changes in the perspective of the employee in terms of the nature of the work they are conducting that leads to the responses that are both psychological as well as physiological in nature. The most obvious causes of the above predicament will depend on the nature of the job description, the timeframe of the personality required to perform their duties at the business entity as well as the interrelationship between the worker and the environment. The changes in the mood of the affected individuals pertinent to their perception of the nature of their responsibilities are also among the factors that lead to the increment in the levels of burnout among staff.

Bakker, Emmerik, and Euwema, (2006) makes an observation regarding the causes of burnout as largely associated with exposure levels to the specific job environment and continuous application of individuals prowess to a specific job without making changes in their job description as well as their responsibilities. It is believed that there are different levels of the occurrence of the phenomenon among different job descriptions ranging from low percentiles to high percentiles, which are dependent on the nature of the job as well as the amount of time and complexity of the work done by the members of staff.

It is crucial to note that burnout may result in the occurrence of a state of fatigue as well as the decline in the intrinsic motivation of a person hence the reduction in the passion and zeal for one to continue in the remittal of their services at their places of work. The relevance of the phenomenon is that the idealism into the state burnout and weariness is purely a psychological problem, which is socially oriented and induced by the immediate factors surrounding the victim of the phenomenon (Bakker, Emmerik, and Euwema, 2006).

It is imperative in this analysis to note that the response mechanisms leading to a state of weariness as well as the manifestation of the burnout are not an immediate affair but rather a cumulative of a series of events that finally lead to the manifestation of the phenomenon. These normally involve the victim feeling extremely tired or exhausted at the mare sight of their responsibilities. The above phenomenon then results into a feeling of the decline in the level of commitment and initial attachment to the work pertinent to being referred to as cynicism. Finally, the above factors lead to the actual deterioration in the performance due to the lack of satisfaction from the job on the employee or staff (Shanafelt, 2015).

The feeling of weariness, as well as fatigue from the job description, is the most obvious sign that is subject to the manifestation of the state of burnout among the employees. It is because of the complete drainage of an employee’s ability to provide their input as far productivity is subject to concern. Both the emotional and physical wellbeing of the victim of burnout are fully drained and hence there can be little productivity in terms of the provision of their resources to the firm (Crawford, LePine, and Rich, 2010). The aspect of cynicism, on the other hand, is the immediate effect of the occurrence of the above (Shanafelt, 2015). The person whose resources are drained becomes less responsive to their colleagues as well as other parameters in relation to their job descriptions. For instance, these individuals often exhibit traits that are negative especially to their superiors as well as to their colleagues. Other character traits involve laxity as well as sluggard responses to their superiors. Finally the overall output from the above phenomenon that largely classifies a burnout is a general reduction in the output, the efficacy of the employee in terms of the standards of output and the general deterioration in the staff in pertinent to their performance evaluation.

 

Exhaustion

According to Bakker, Emmerik, and Euwema (2006), the manifestation of the state of burnout among members of staff or colleagues is largely under observation through the weariness and exhaustion. As discussed above the phenomenon is the general tiredness as well as the decline in the zeal of the employees in their specific roles in their jobs. However even with exhaustion as the main sign of the presence or occurrence of burnout, it does not give sufficient information pertinent to the psychological status of the personage subject to being the victim of burnout. It is because it is majorly focused on the physical aspect of the phenomenon (Maslach, Schaufeli, and Leiter, 2001).

Cynicism

It is imperative to note with the exhaustion of the employees being physical in nature, and cynicism is majorly an abstract affair due to its abstract causes that are an indicator of exhaustion and hence burnout. It refers to a state of a person becoming depersonalized in nature (Bakker, Emmerik, and Euwema, 2006). The term abstract refers to the unseen reasons pertinent to being psychological in nature. The decline in the self-esteem of the worker(s), the decline in the interpersonal relationships between the employees and each other or the employee-executive relationships is a manifestation of the predicament (Maslach, Schaufeli, and Leiter, 2001).

In most cases, the individuals that once had a sanguine attitude pertinent to their interaction with all individuals tend to distance themselves. It shows the culmination of an exhausted person that now enters into the cynicism stage. It exhibits its presence in various work temperaments that are dependent on the amount of work, as well as the complexity of the intended responsibilities from the above personages. The most typical instance of the occurrence of cynicism is a working environment that is chronic in nature, with many demands and little motivation of the workers, which has a lasting effect on the efficacy of the affected person.

Contributors to the State of Burnout

Quantity of Work

The primary cause with respect to the type of the job is the amount of work expected for the employees to perform. A lot of work with a limitation in the period for the provision of results is among the main issues, which cause weariness among the members of staff working at the stations. The workload on the staff, as well as factors as such as high expectations and pressure on the employees in terms of time is a clear illustration of the state of weariness among the employees ((Bakker, Emmerik, and Euwema, 2006; Maslach, Schaufeli, and Leiter, 2001).

The ease of doing the heavy tasks in the limited time is also another task that leads to the state of weariness among the staff. The staff will strain to ensure that they try to complete the intended work in the set time. It is, therefore, the reason why most employees will work deep into the night and head to their homes at around midnight. The repetition of this process on a daily basis will eventually lead to exhaustion of the person and hence finally leading to burnout.

 

Burnout and Quality of Work

Bakker, Emmerik, and Euwema (2006) argue that the above predicament is also because of the type of quality of work that is supposed to be conducted by the members of staff. In this description, the lack of clarity, as well as ambiguity pertinent to the roles of the members of staff, is the leading cause of burnout in the employees pertinent to the quality of the work expected. To concur with the author’s arguments Maslach, Schaufeli, and Leiter (2001) explained that the conflict with respect to multiple tasks that have to meet in a specific time frame leads to exhaustion as well as the absence of total information on the type of work to be done. The other issue that is quality oriented is with regard to the nature of the problems facing the clients pertinent to the levels of the severity of the problems at hand. These, on the other hand, ought to be handled by multiple qualified individuals hence leading to the prevention of weariness among the staff.

Resource Allocation and Participation

The absence of resources with regard to the support from the administration as well as the members of the executive in a particular organizational setting is the leading cause of deterioration of performance and finally a burnout. It is indeed true that the supervisors as well as the administration ought to support the members of staff regarding the provision of resources as well as incentives for the motivation of the employees (Adriaenssens, De Gucht, and Maes, 2015; Bakker, Emmerik, and Euwema, 2006). Motivation from these individuals directly stimulates performance in that tasks that have been handled well are subject to appreciation. However, tasks that have been poorly performed are subject to scrutiny as well as rectification.

The above phenomenon is direct correlated to the amount of feedback given for a certain task accomplished. Poor remittal of feedback from the supervisors as well as other colleague’s results in weariness which if not addressed will lead to a state of burnout among the employees. Feedback is important as it helps in the tracking of the level of progress among the staff as well as aiding in the increment in the intrinsic motivation levels of the employees. Areas that need improvement are subject to communication through the feedback received. It, therefore, leads to a state of cohesion between the supervisors and the workers (Bakker, Emmerik, and Euwem, 2006).

The inclusion in the decision-making stratagems is crucial for the success of the firm as well as improvement in the levels of motivation among the staff. Employees who are not involved in the decision-making procedures of a company or department are prone to becoming wearier in comparison to those who are involved in decision making. The inclusion of opinions by the supervisors to the staff is critical as it ensures as a state of cohesion as well as collective responsibility among the members of staff. 

Staffs who are not subjected to giving their opinions are often disgruntled especially since they often are not given the environment to air their feelings, especially when disappointed.  The disgruntled employee may influence the other members of staff in becoming disgruntled, the overall effect being a state of anarchy and burnout at the organization.

Burnout and Work Environment

Some occupations are more prone to the manifestation of the existence of weariness, exhaustion and finally burnout among the members of staff. It is because some occupations require the remittal of high input levels than others. Other professions require the physical presence of a person, while others will require psychological input into the roles of the members of staff. For instance, in some categories of job descriptions there arise variations of exhaustion as well as cynicism among the members of staff as argued by Bakker, Emmerik, and Euwema (2006) and Maslach, Schaufeli, and Leiter (2001).

The teaching profession has among the highest rates of weariness and physical exhaustion in comparison to the others. The individuals whose job descriptions are oriented in the maintenance of peace and tranquillity with respect to the following of statues show the increase in the levels of cynicism as compared to the teachers (Cherniss, 2016). Hakanen, Bakker, and Schaufeli (2006) argue that these individuals have relatively small degrees of being exhausted. However, the above fact is variable in nature, as the gender of the people as well as the nature of the job is also matter to be considered (González-Romá, 2006; Antoniou, Polychroni, and Vlachakis, 2006).

Purvanova and Muros, (2010) implore that it is believed that majority of the women have low levels of cynicism and high exhaustion levels in comparison to their male counterparts in the similar professions. Doctors and health practitioners were subject to lower standards of exhaustion as well as significantly low degrees of cynicism (Biksegn, et al., 2016; Newell and MacNeil, 2010). It is because the correlation and communication with respect to feedback and clarity of instructions are fundamental in their profession. The presence of the required resources, resource allocation, comments, and decision-making is practiced among the majority of the hospices to ensure that the patients have access to the best medical attention (Laschinger, and Leiter, 2006).

 

Burnout and Promises

The typical modern contemporary working environment is characterized by managers who offer incentives to their employees in a bid to instil as well as inculcate perfection and productivity among the members of staff. These factors are social as well as give an illustration of the culture of the working environment in the contemporary society. It is a fact that majority of the companies, as well as major corporate conglomerates, have been victims of changes in their structures. 

The above is mainly due to mergers as well as acquisition by either big companies or of smaller business entities. Such results in changes that directly influence the production of retained employees. The sacking of staff due to the various changes in the structure of the business entities result in demotivation of existing staff. It is because they become insecure about their relevance in the firm, which leads to lower productivity as well as the state of burnout among the individuals (Khan, Yusoff, and Khan, 2014).

The failure of the members of the executive in meeting their promises with respect to a reciprocal kind of relationship between results and the executive is one of the leading causes of exhaustion as well as the mental breakdown of the staff (Spence Laschinger, 2009). Spence Laschinger (2009) argues that it is because the staffs considers it unfair for them to be subjected to workload, and provision of results whereas there is minimal to no appreciation of their skills, time as well as their ability to become flexible to new work temperaments.

Consequences of Burnout

The ability to determine the relevance of burnout among the members of staff is not complicated in that one only needs to assess the productivity of the individual pertinent to the quality of work as well as the quantity and continuous production and efficacy.

First, there are cases of the affected individual being absent from the job and the actual reduction in the output as well as the decline in the productivity of the affected person. Others include quitting of the job opportunity by the affected individuals. The minimal amount of satisfaction among the affected individual is also another characteristics. The existence of a state of anarchy, as well as resentment among members of staff who are disgruntled, is among the signs of burnout (Awa, Plaumann, and Walter, 2010).

Other characteristics are more health oriented in that these individuals often display evidence of anxiety as well as depression due to their continuous state of dissatisfaction with their job opportunities (Newell and MacNeil, 2010; Bianchi, Schonfeld, and Laurent, 2015). It is indeed factual to say that there is a decline in the self-esteem levels of the affected individuals. The solution to such problems may include changing the job descriptions of the above individuals as well as inculcate a positive culture among the affected individuals.

 

Conclusion

It is imperative for the members of the executive and the staff to create and maintain a positive relationship with each other, to create a healthy working environment that leads to the minimization of burnout among the employees. Constant communication and adherence to promises as well as the provision of the required resources regarding a number of workers per task must also be considered to prevent the overworking of employees.

 

References

Adriaenssens, J., De Gucht, V. and Maes, S., 2015. Determinants and prevalence of burnout in emergency nurses: A systematic review of 25 years of research. International journal of nursing studies, 52(2), pp.649-661.

Aloe, A.M., Amo, L.C. and Shanahan, M.E., 2014. Classroom management self-efficacy and burnout: A multivariate meta-analysis. Educational psychology review, 26(1), pp.101-126.

Antoniou, A.S., Polychroni, F. and Vlachakis, A.N., 2006. Gender and age differences in occupational stress and professional burnout between primary and high-school teachers in Greece. Journal of Managerial Psychology,21(7), pp.682-690.

Awa, W.L., Plaumann, M. and Walter, U., 2010. Burnout prevention: A review of intervention programs. Patient education and counseling, 78(2), pp.184-190.

Bakker, A.B., Van Der Zee, K.I., Lewig, K.A. and Dollard, M.F., 2006. The relationship between the big five personality factors and burnout: A study among volunteer counselors. The Journal of social psychology, 146(1), pp.31-50.

Bakker, A.B., Van Emmerik, H. and Euwema, M.C., 2006. Crossover of burnout and engagement in work teams. Work and Occupations, 33(4), pp.464-489.

Bianchi, R., Schonfeld, I.S. and Laurent, E., 2015. Burnout–depression overlap: A review. Clinical psychology review, 36, pp.28-41.

Biksegn, A., Kenfe, T., Matiwos, S. and Eshetu, G., 2016. Burnout Status at Work among Health Care Professionals in aTertiary Hospital. Ethiopian journal of health sciences, 26(2), pp.101-108.

Cherniss, C., 2016. Beyond Burnout: Helping teachers, nurses, therapists, and lawyers recover from stress and disillusionment. Routledge.

Crawford, E.R., LePine, J.A. and Rich, B.L., 2010. Linking job demands and resources to employee engagement and burnout: a theoretical extension and meta-analytic test. Journal of Applied Psychology, 95(5), p.834.

Firth, H., McKeown, P., McIntee, J. and Britton, P., 1987. Professional depression, ‘burnout’and personality in long-stay nursing. International Journal of Nursing Studies, 24(3), pp.227-237.

González-Romá, V., Schaufeli, W.B., Bakker, A.B. and Lloret, S., 2006. Burnout and work engagement: Independent factors or opposite poles?.Journal of vocational behavior, 68(1), pp.165-174.

Hakanen, J.J., Bakker, A.B. and Schaufeli, W.B., 2006. Burnout and work engagement among teachers. Journal of school psychology, 43(6), pp.495-513.

Khan, F., Yusoff, R.M. and Khan, A., 2014. Job demands burnout and resources in teaching a conceptual review. World Applied Sciences Journal,30(1), pp.20-28.

Laschinger, H.K.S. and Leiter, M.P., 2006. The impact of nursing work environments on patient safety outcomes: The mediating role of burnout engagement. Journal of Nursing Administration, 36(5), pp.259-267.

Maslach, C., Schaufeli, W.B. and Leiter, M.P., 2001. Job burnout. Annual review of psychology, 52(1), pp.397-422.

Newell, J.M. and MacNeil, G.A., 2010. Professional burnout, vicarious trauma, secondary traumatic stress, and compassion fatigue. Best Practices in Mental Health, 6(2), pp.57-68.

Purvanova, R.K. and Muros, J.P., 2010. Gender differences in burnout: A meta-analysis. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 77(2), pp.168-185.

Schaufeli, W.B., Leiter, M.P. and Maslach, C., 2009. Burnout: 35 years of research and practice. Career development international, 14(3), pp.204-220.

Shanafelt, T.D., Hasan, O., Dyrbye, L.N., Sinsky, C., Satele, D., Sloan, J. and West, C.P., 2015, December. Changes in Burnout and satisfaction with work-life balance in physicians and the general US working population between 2011 and 2014. In Mayo Clinic Proceedings (Vol. 90, No. 12, pp. 1600-1613). Elsevier.

Spence Laschinger, H.K., Leiter, M., Day, A., and Gilin, D., 2009. Workplace empowerment, incivility, and burnout: Impact on staff nurse recruitment and retention outcomes. Journal of nursing management, 17(3), pp.302-311.

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