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Factors Contributing to Employee Burnout

Discuss about the Organizational Behavior for Human Resources.

Several factors in an organization contribute to the success of the business; they are money, human resources, equipments and many others. One of the most important factors among those is the employees of the organizations or workers of the organization. Employees are the most important factors as they contribute the most to the success of the business. The employees can be considered as the pillars of a business. Many responsibilities lie upon them like the responsibility of production, the responsibility of sales and marketing and many others (Hoon et al., 2012). Hence, it is very crucial for the organizations to take care of their employees. The employees must be provided with all the necessary aspects like proper salary or wages, flexible working hours, effective work conditions, motivation and many others (Hunter et al., 2013). There was a time when the amount of money was the deciding factors to the employees. However, time has changed along with the preferences of the employees. In this age of business, the employees need some other factors apart from money. One of those factors is the psychological factor. Due to the progress in business world, the pressure of work has increased as well. This contributes to the evolution of some major psychological problems. Burnout is one of those psychological factors that affect the employees of an organization in a vast way. Employee burnout is a major problem to the employees of an organization that affects the productivity of the business. In the situation of burnout, the employees lose their enthusiasm as well as concentration to their respective jobs due to some major reasons. There are different kinds of reasons that contribute to the employee burnouts. However, with the help of proper human resource strategies, the problems of burnout can be eradicated (Dunford et al., 2012).

It is evident that the businesses of twenty-first centuries have evolved in such a way that the work pressure has become more significant. The employees of the organization have taken most of the workloads in a business organization. Excessive workload or work pressure is the potential reasons of stress. Stress is the most significant workplace challenge that an employee has to face. On the other hand, stress contributes to the burnout of the employees. Employee burnout is a major constraint to the progress of the business as well as to the employees themselves (Kubicek and Korunka, 2015). Employee burnout reduces the productivity of the organizations as the employees become non-productive in this kind of situation. On the other hand, the downfall in the economic condition of the world and the country adds fuel in the issue of employee burnout. The main aim of the essay is to discus several dimensions of employee burnout in the organizations. One can easily guess that there are various reasons that can be made responsible for employee burnouts. All these reasons are discussed in the main portion of the essay along with the consequences of burnout on the well-being of the employees (Kubicek, Korunka and Ulferts, 2013). After that, the possible solution of employee burnout is discussed in the essay.

Consequences of Employee Burnout

There is a fair scope of this essay. The essay attempts to evaluate the various aspects of employee burnout in the organizations. In order to analyze this, it is necessary to identify the major reasons that contribute to the cause of employee burnout. After that, it is needed to discuss the consequences of employee burnout on the employees of the organizations. The process ends with providing possible solutions to prevent this major issue. Hence, the major scope of this essay is that it will help to know many crucial aspects of employee burnout. The use of various employee burnout related theories will help to increase the knowledge about this particular topic.

The essay is organized in such a way so that the concept of employee burnout can be presented clearly. The essay starts with an introduction followed by a brief overview of the context of the particular topic. After that, the scope of the essay is discussed. There are four parts in the main body of the essay. The first part starts with a detailed description of the topic ‘employee burnout’ that is followed by the detailed analysis of the reasons that can be made responsible for employee burnout. After the analysis of the reasons, the consequences of employee burnout on the well-being of employees as well as the organizations are discussed. The possible solution of employee burnout is discussed along with some major theories of this topic. Lastly, a conclusion is drawn based on the whole essay.


Employee burnout is one of the growing concerns for companies all over the world. Employee burnout refers to the conditions of the employees when they are exhausted from physical, mental and emotional aspects (Mo and Shi, 2015). One of the major reasons contributes in the employee burnout is the presence of stress. Stress is a significant hindrance for to reduce the productivity of the employees and the organizations (Trivellas, Reklitis and Platis, 2013). Another crucial aspect of employee burnout is the presence of frustration. Both stress and frustration can be considered as the two sides of a same coin. Both the factors add fuel in the employee burnout. There is a wrong concept that only the employees with low paying, low prestigious and repetitive jobs suffer from burnout (Hance, 2013). People having prestigious jobs with well pay structures can also suffer from burnout. Apart from stress and frustration, other major factors can be accused for employee burnout. They are irritability, exhaustion, absenteeism, sarcasm, to be argumentative, less job satisfaction, lack of motivation and many others. There are many signs of employee burnout. The employees need to be happy in the organization and they need to consider the workplace and the people as their family. The inability of the employees to enjoy the work life is a potential of burnout. On the other hand, the lack of enthusiasm among the employees is another sign of burnout. One of the most significant sign of burnout is excessive work pressure along with tight deadline. All these reasons together contribute in the employee burnout (Jung and Kim, 2012).

Recommendations for Preventing and Mitigating Burnout

Various factors contribute to the employee burnout in the workplace. The burned out employees tend to have various diseases like pain in the back, different ailments and injuries, overall stress, fatigue and many others. There are instances where the employees of an organization work hard towards achieving the goals, but they do not get sufficient amount of money at the end. This is a major reason for burnout. However, there are many other reasons behind burnout. They are discussed below:

One of the major reasons for burnout is the emergence of service sector. In this sector, there are employees who do the task of other people like teachers, nurses, social workers and others. It has been seen in the reports that the rate of burnout is highest in the service industry (Lings et al., 2014). The reason is that there is a significant amount of stress in this particulate industry. The next factor is individualism. Now-a-days, people have become more self-centric and this process affects them at the workplace. Employees tend to define their own roles at the workplace and they withdraw them from the employee’s community. This aspect makes them separate from the other employees and becomes a potential for burnout (Leiter and Maslach, 2014). The next factor that can be considered as a reason for burnout is the mental and emotional workload of the employees. Due to the tremendous increase in business sectors, the workload has increased significantly. This process increases the workloads on the employees of the organization. The employees need to work under immense work pressure along with stiff deadline. As a result, the employees suffer from injuries and ailments; and ultimately they suffer from burnout. Job demand is another factor that contributes to the employee burnout.


Now a day, the employees have a significant job demand that increases the pressure on them. Characteristic of the jobs is another important aspect that contributes to employee burnout. It is the desire of every person to get the job of his or her dream. In most of the cases, people do not get their dream jobs (Johnson et al., 2013). As a result, they suffer from frustration by doing the same job every day. This process is the potential of employee burnout. Psychological contrast is another reason of burnout. It is the perception of the employees that they must work harder in order to maintain the status quo in the organization. In this process, they invite extra amount of pressure on them and become stressed. Lack of support from the subordinates is another reason that contributes to the cause of burnout. It is desired that the employees of any organization will get help and support from their seniors and supervisors. It has been seen that sometimes the seniors refuse to help the needy and frustrated employees; and burnout occurs.

Conclusion

Another most important reason is lack of motivation and reward system. The managers of the organization need to employ strategies that help to motivate the employees as motivation is an important medicine for burnout. On the other hand, the lack of reward system in the organization contributes to the employee burnout in a significant way (Menges et al., 2016). A crucial reason that encourages employee burnout is different kinds of unfairness in the organizations. Unfairness in the workplace includes unequal pay, unequal workload, biasness, cheating and many others. All these reasons make the employees de-motivated towards their works; and the rate of absenteeism increases. Employees in the organizations need to maintain a positive and cordial relationship with the other employees. The lack of positive and cordial relationship among the employees encourages employee burnout. All these are the reasons that contribute to the cause of employee burnout (Parks et al., 2013).

Based on the above discussion, it can be seen that there are many major reasons that vastly contributes in the burnout of the employees of the organizations. It has been seen that all these factors are creating adverse effects on the well-being of the employees along with the well-being of the organization. There are several consequences of burnout on the well-being of the employees. One of the major consequences of employee burnout is stress. Stress is one of the major hindrances for the employees. Stress is a significant factor decreases the productivity of the employees along with the organizations. There are many dimensions of stress. One of the consequences of burnout is that the employees become frustrated with their jobs. There is a lot of similarity between stress and frustration. Out of stress, the employees become frustrated. Health issues of the employees are another consequence of burnout (Kozak et al., 2013).

Due to excessive work pressure at the work place, the employees suffer from various injuries and ailments like back pain, headache and many others. Another consequence of burnout is psychosomatic complaints. This affects the employees both physically and mentally. Psychosomatic complaints can be considered as one of the results of stress and frustration. There are other type consequences of burnout (Leiter et al., 2013). Dissatisfaction of jobs is one of the significant consequences of burnout for employee well-being. Due to stress and frustration, the employees become detached from their jobs. There are some other major consequences of burnout that affect the employees and the organization both. The first consequence is absenteeism (Faúndez et al., 2014). Due to the effect of burnout, the employees become less enthusiastic to their jobs and they start to absent from their jobs. It affects the productivity of the organizations. The second consequence of burnout is the increase in the rate of job turnover. Other employees often replace the burned out employees; on the other hand, the rate of employee pay off become more prominent.


Poor performance and the poor quality of products and services are other consequences of employee burnout. The burned out employees face many difficulties in the organizations. They lose their interest and enthusiasm from work of the organization (Finney et al., 2013.). This reason contributes in the decrease in the production of the employees along with the organization. On the other hand, the quality of products and services of the organizations become lower. The organizations lose their business due to all these reasons. There are various other psychological consequences of employee burnout. The employees become more angry and aggressive because of burnout. They start to do arguments with the seniors of the organization and this process damages the reputation of the employees. On the other hand, the employees become less committed towards their jobs. Employee burnout creates conflicts among the employees and it destroys the harmony in the workplace. This process is against the creation of cordial workplace in the organizations. These are the major consequences of employee burnout on the well-being of the employees along with the organization.   

The above discussions are about the major cause and effects employee burnout. However, with the help of proper strategies and solutions, the problems of employee burnout can be eradicated. There needs to be proper communication with the employees of the organization in order to reduce the risk of employee burnout. For this purpose, it is necessary to arrange staff meetings or employee meeting on a regular basis. This will include both employees meeting along with one-on-one meeting. The topic of these kinds of meeting will be to discuss about the matters on which the employees are working and the view of the employees on work load will be invited (Sørensen and Holman, 2014). There are both positive and negative sides of a job. The burned out employees often forget about the positive aspects of their jobs. It is the responsibility of the employers to remind them about the positive aspects of their jobs to avoid burnout. It is necessary to recognize the hard works of the employees. The employees need to be appreciated for their hard works to achieve the organizational goal. The unique skills of the employees need to be rewarded (Parks et al., 2013).

The job requirements of the employees need to be clarified so that the employees can get the idea about their job roles. This will help to reduce the rate of employee burnout. Another major step is that the employees need to be motivated. It is the duty of the employers to find out the factors that motivates the employees. Based on that above analysis, the programs need to be organized that provide motivations to the employees. Stress is one of the major causes of employee burnout. The employers need to employ stress relievers tools like listening to music, flexible working hours and many others. The good work of the employees needs to be appreciated by the employers in order to reduce burnout (Maslach, Leiter and Jackson, 2012).  Sometimes, it is effective to increase the amount of compensation in order to make the employees more productive. In the presence of effective leaders, the employees become more enthusiastic towards their jobs. To avoid employee burnout, the need for proper training and development cannot be denied as it makes the employees more efficient. The tasks should  be allocated to employee based on the capability of the them. There should be limited overtime periods to limit the work pressure of the employees. These essential steps can be taken to eliminate employee burnout (Leary et al., 2013).

There are some popular theories regarding the concept of employee burnout. One of the most popular theories of burnout is the theory of Herbert Freudenberger (1980). Freudenberger was a psychiatrist by profession and used to work with the drugs addicts. Freudenberger found a strange behavior among the volunteers. He noticed that the volunteers became exhausted after one year. Freudenberger named the strange behavior of the volunteers as ‘burnout’. He stated about them in his paper on employee burnout. The same term ‘burnout’ was used for the chronic drug users. This was the first theory that was written on employee burnout (Bakker, Demerouti, and Sanz-Vergel, 2014).

There were many theories published after the theory of Freudenberger. Other important theories on employee burnout are the theory of Freudenberger and the theory of Christina Maslach (1981) (Maslach and Leiter, 2014). As per the research of these researchers, burnout is a syndrome of emotional exhaustion and depression that reduces the level of personal accomplishment and it can happen to any individual. As per the theories, it can be ob served that there is a relation between burnout and engagement. According to them, burnout is the opposite of engagement. In the process of engagement, employees are committed to their work where employees become detached from their jobs when they are burned out.

The main aim of the essay is to analyze and evaluate the different aspects of employee burnout. As per the above study, employee burnout has become a significant problem for the organizations. The essay sheds lights on the various aspects of this emerging problem. The study states that there are various factors that are considered as the reasons for employee burnout. Two of the major factors are stress and frustration. Stress is considered as the most powerful reason for employee burnout. On the other hand, frustration is the result of stress. Apart from these two factors, other factors are the reasons of burnout. They are excessive work pressure, long working hours and lack of appreciation and many others. Burnout has some negative impacts on the well-being of the employees along with the organization. It reduces the productivity of the employees as they lose enthusiasm from their jobs. This process affects the productivity of the organization. Other consequences of burnout includes high rate of absenteeism and attrition. One of the major consequences of burnout is that it makes the employee injured physically and mentally. However, with the help of proper steps burnout can be eliminated. One of the major way is to improve communication with the employees so that they can express their problems. On the other hand, the employees need to motivated and inspired. This can be done by appreciating and rewarding them. Hence, from the above analysis, it can be concluded that with the help of proper corrective measures, the issue of burnout can be eradicated.

References

Bakker, A.B., Demerouti, E. and Sanz-Vergel, A.I., 2014. Burnout and work engagement: The JD–R approach. Annu. Rev. Organ. Psychol. Organ. Behav., 1(1), pp.389-411.

Dunford, B.B., Shipp, A.J., Boss, R.W., Angermeier, I. and Boss, A.D., 2012. Is burnout static or dynamic? A career transition perspective of employee burnout trajectories. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97(3), p.637.

Faúndez, V.E.O., Monte, P.R.G., Miranda, L.E.M., Wilke, C.J. and Ferraz, H.F., 2014. Relationships between burnout and role ambiguity, role conflict and employee absenteeism among health workers. terapia psicolÓgica, 32(2), pp.111-120.

Finney, C., Stergiopoulos, E., Hensel, J., Bonato, S. and Dewa, C.S., 2013. Organizational stressors associated with job stress and burnout in correctional officers: a systematic review. BMC Public Health, 13(1), p.1.

Hance, B., 2013. Equal Exposure Brews Frustration for Employees: Court Filters Personal Comfort Doctrine through Workers' Compensation Amendments. Mo. L. Rev., 78, p.573.

Hoon Song, J., Kolb, J.A., Hee Lee, U. and Kyoung Kim, H., 2012. Role of transformational leadership in effective organizational knowledge creation practices: Mediating effects of employees' work engagement. Human Resource Development Quarterly, 23(1), pp.65-101.

Hunter, E.M., Neubert, M.J., Perry, S.J., Witt, L.A., Penney, L.M. and Weinberger, E., 2013. Servant leaders inspire servant followers: Antecedents and outcomes for employees and the organization. The Leadership Quarterly, 24(2), pp.316-331.

Johnson, S.J., Holdsworth, L., Hoel, H. and Zapf, D., 2013. Customer stressors in service organizations: The impact of age on stress management and burnout. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 22(3), pp.318-330.

Jung, J. and Kim, Y., 2012. Causes of newspaper firm employee burnout in Korea and its impact on organizational commitment and turnover intention. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 23(17), pp.3636-3651.

Kozak, A., Kersten, M., Schillmöller, Z. and Nienhaus, A., 2013. Psychosocial work-related predictors and consequences of personal burnout among staff working with people with intellectual disabilities. Research in developmental disabilities, 34(1), pp.102-115.

Kubicek, B. and Korunka, C., 2015. Does job complexity mitigate the negative effect of emotion-rule dissonance on employee burnout?. Work & Stress, 29(4), pp.379-400.

Kubicek, B., Korunka, C. and Ulferts, H., 2013. Acceleration in the care of older adults: New demands as predictors of employee burnout and engagement. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 69(7), pp.1525-1538.

Leary, T.G., Green, R., Denson, K., Schoenfeld, G., Henley, T. and Langford, H., 2013. The relationship among dysfunctional leadership dispositions, employee engagement, job satisfaction, and burnout. The Psychologist-Manager Journal, 16(2), p.112.

Leiter, M.P. and Maslach, C., 2014. Interventions to prevent and alleviate burnout. Burnout at work: A psychological perspective, pp.145-167.

Leiter, M.P., Hakanen, J.J., Ahola, K., Toppinen?Tanner, S., Koskinen, A. and Väänänen, A., 2013. Organizational predictors and health consequences of changes in burnout: A 12?year cohort study. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34(7), pp.959-973.

Lings, I., Durden, G., Lee, N. and Cadogan, J.W., 2014. Socio-emotional and operational demands on service employees. Journal of Business Research, 67(10), pp.2132-2138.

Maslach, C. and Leiter, M.P., 2014, June. 10 Burnout in the workplace. In Psychology Serving Humanity: Proceedings of the 30th International Congress of Psychology: Volume 2: Western Psychology (Vol. 2, p. 116). Psychology Press.

Maslach, C., Leiter, M.P. and Jackson, S.E., 2012. Making a significant difference with burnout interventions: Researcher and practitioner collaboration. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 33(2), pp.296-300.

Menges, J.I., Tussing, D.V., Wihler, A. and Grant, A., 2016. When Job Performance is All Relative: How Family Motivation Energizes Effort and Compensates for Intrinsic Motivation. Academy of Management Journal, pp.amj-2014.

Mo, S. and Shi, J., 2015. Linking Ethical Leadership to Employee Burnout, Workplace Deviance and Performance: Testing the Mediating Roles of Trust in Leader and Surface Acting. Journal of Business Ethics, pp.1-11.

Parks, W.S., Lundberg-Love, P.K., Galusha, J.M. and Deitrick, S., 2013. Understanding the mechanism for employee burnout subsequent to recurrent stress in the workplace. Psychology for business success, 1, pp.171-192.

Parks, W.S., Lundberg-Love, P.K., Galusha, J.M. and Deitrick, S., 2013. Understanding the mechanism for employee burnout subsequent to recurrent stress in the workplace. Psychology for business success, 1, pp.171-192.

Sørensen, O.H. and Holman, D., 2014. A participative intervention to improve employee well-being in knowledge work jobs: A mixed-methods evaluation study. Work & Stress, 28(1), pp.67-86.

Trivellas, P., Reklitis, P. and Platis, C., 2013. The effect of job related stress on employees’ satisfaction: A survey in health care. Procedia-social and behavioral sciences, 73, pp.718-726.

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