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What is burnout and what factors contribute to an employee’s perception of burnout in the workplace (e.g., personal characteristics, characteristics of their job, and the work environment)? What are the consequences of burnout for employee well?being? Conduct academic research to decide and explain your answer.
Burnout can be referred as to the continuous feeling of stress and helplessness in an individual due to the conditions of job. Everything looks miserable when an employee suffers from burnout. There are many researches held to measure the stress level in the employees due to their work. In the modern age, the relationship of the employees with their work has been studied to know whether they are satisfied and happy with their work or not. Burnout in employees is the state of emotional and mental exhaustion which is created by the continuous stress given by the work to the employee. This burnout makes the employee whole drained and he is not able to meet the expectations of his job. This stress also drains away the motivation of the employee which he gets to do the job. The employee, due to no motivation theory, loses his interest from the job. The result of such situation is that the productivity of the company or organisation decreases and it seems like the employee is no longer productive to the company (Bakker & Costa, 2014).
A person may have burnout when all the time or most of time he feels burdened, stress, unappreciated and helpless (Maslach & Leiter, 2008). There are certain signs and symptoms of burnout which is experienced by the employee:
1. Feels bad throughout the day
2. Draining of energy level
3. Feels exhausted and dull most of the time
4. Do not feel motivated and appreciated
Millions of people are facing burnout in the present work cultures where there are lot of pressures on the workforce before they even turn 30-35 years of age. Burnout creates disturbance to the one’s personal life and also to the health and happiness of an individual (Guveli, et al., 2015).
The research examined that there are some industries which often face higher burnout than other industries because of many factors like the nature of job, expectation of employers, duration of job, etc. The factors which contribute to the employee’s perception of burnout in the workplace are explained below:
Personal characteristics:Personal characteristics refer to the personal features of an individual which affect the state or chances of burnout in the particular employee. It is the nature and characteristics of an individual which affects his mental and physical state and creates job burnout. Some employees are drained easily while some are stronger and have capabilities to handle the pressure. They create their own ways of handling the pressure created by the job. The people who do not have personal control over their emotions and on their environment are at greater risk of burnout as they are moved easily by the higher pressure created by the job. They are affected emotionally and mentally and they are not able to control the same to pass on the tough situations. To prevent this, an employee should discuss it with the employer for the solution of the problem the employee is facing. If an employee feels untrained for the particular work, he should tell it to the employer and take certain steps to learn new skills and knowledge. Clear it from the employer in case of any ambiguous situation in any task (Beheshtifar & Omidvar, 2013).
No clear direction:IT is when the employees are not directed well by the superiors and no clear requirements are explained to them. When the job does not explain the employees that what is required and expected from them, the employees become less interested in job, it becomes difficult for them to be confident and enjoy the work given to them because they do not know the ultimate aim of the work they are doing. Sometimes the requirements of the job changes every now and then which creates confusion in the minds of employees and makes them frustrated with the work. The workers who are not made clear about the requirements of the job they are doing are at the higher risk of burnout (Elizabeth Scott, 2016).
High level of stress:A job which gives high level of stress to employees provides more burnout possibilities for the employees. Every industry have a time when there is a higher stress and the workers are required to work for longer hours of period and they are paid for this crunch time and overloaded work but this becomes worse when this period extends and does not finish for a long period of time. The emloyees began to face many mental and physical problems and began to experience burnout. This is one of the biggest factors contributing to burnout of employees.
Lack of motivation and recognition:When in the job, an employee gets no recognition or motivation for the efforts he is making for the job, he feels dissatisfied and lack of recognition in the form of awards, accomplishments, praises or in the form of incentives, hikes and bonus brings down the morale of the employee which carets the risk for burnout of employee. In case of lack of motivation or insufficient rewards, the employee should request first of all to provide the rewards matching the level of work in which he is involved (Gardazi, et al., 2016).
Communication within the organisation:Communication is the process which exchanges the ideas and emotions of each other. It is the method which is adopted in the organisations to take faster decisions and the better ones. Better and clear communication among the people in the organisation gives higher job satisfaction to the employees while unclear communication creates problems as this will not make the organisation enable to know about the real feelings of the employees and to what situations they are going through. It also creates situation where an employee’s does not share his/ her problems with another and feel agitated. This will create the higher chances of employee burnout. In case the health communication is lacking from the environment, the employees should take initiative to increase healthy social interaction within the organisations. The employees should try to surround themselves with the ones who are similar to them and to whom the employees can interact easily. The employees should share the support and feelings with each other in case of need (Charoensukmongkol, et al., 2016).
Poor leadership:leadership is the quality of an individual to lead a group of people and make them united to contribute their efforts for a common task or objective. Leadership, if successful can prevent burnout of employees at the workplace. A good leader directs the employees, guides them, give them praises and recognitions for contributing good efforts and also support them in case of any difficult situations they are facing in professional or personal life. When there is poor leadership, an employee may feel unsatisfied, unsupported and also insecure in the work environment which creates higher risks for employee burnout (Elizabeth Scott, 2016).
Work environment:Work environment plays a very important role in the conditions of employees at the workplace. A good working environment may include strong leadership, supportive staff, healthy communication and provision of facilities which keeps an employee motivated to give his best efforts to the company. On the contrary, if the work environment is poor and not at all supportive for the employee, he does not feel like giving all his efforts for the job and the organisation. Sometimes, the organisation is not supportive at all and the communication between the employees and the lower and upper level of the departments does not communicate in the healthy way which creates higher risks for the employee burnout in the organisation. It also includes the overloading of work in the job, the conflicts of roles in the company, lack of information and education to the employee, lack of guidance and training to the employee, lack of resources, lack of the participation of opportunities to grow, lack of feedback, etc. These factors are the organisational factors which creates higher risk for the burnout of the employees (John Rampton, 2015).
Lack of equality:It happens when the bosses favour one person more than others. It creates a feeling of disrespected in the employees. It happens when one is paid more than others for the same work, unfair behaviour at the workplace, one is promoted while other is not despite same level of performance. These situations are responsible for creating the chances of burnout. In these kinds of situations, the employees should discuss it clearly with the employer and strategies or methods can be used to ensure equality at the workplace (John Rampton, 2015).
Burnout is a psychological condition of an employee where he gets exhausted physically, mentally and emotionally. The symptoms of the same can be frustration, depression, anxiety, losing interest from job, etc. It has been already discussed that what all factors contribute to the perception of employees for burnout in the workplace.
What are the consequences of burnout for employee well?being?
It is important to maintain employee well being at work without which the success of an organisation is not possible. As it has been already discussed that Burnout of employee is the result of many factors like inequality among the employees, lack of rewards and recognition and motivation, poor environment in the organisation, lack of strong leadership and lack of communication. These factors contribute to the burnout of employees which reaches to many consequences of the burnout for employee wellbeing. By employee wellbeing we mean the happiness and health of an employee at the workplace. At times, a good employee may start behaving weird and irritating for a long time which is not normal and should be noticed by the team leader or the manager as the productivity of such an employee gets dropped at a faster pace and the quality of work depletes.. It can be said that such employee is a burnout employee and it is not only affecting the work but also the behaviour and affectivity of the co-workers (Rosenbloom, et al., 2016). This could be because of various reasons which are already discussed above.
A manager should understand the burnout of an employee and the causes behind it which is certainly not easy but is required to deal with the situation. The manager should catch the signs as a warning for the start of the burnout of employees. The signs and symptoms like absence from the work, reduced productivity, reduction in the quality of work, lack of enthusiasm in work, Frustration and depression, and many more. There is no instant method to take the employees out from the burnout or to reduce the effects of it but changes are required to solve and deal with the problem. As a manager, a person has many powers to change the view of the employees and to make them feel in a positive way (Swider & Zimmerman, 2010).
The speed at which the Job burnout is entering in everyone’s life is surprising. The recent decades have experienced Job burnout in many organisations and this is because they are facing high stress in their jobs. The companies are facing a very uncertain atmosphere because of the constant changes in the technologies and because of the tough competition in the markets. Earlier the investigations made on the job burnout were in the human services sector and in the health care sector. Different researchers found that the job burnout is due to the deletion of the motions and the reduction of motivation in the job. Job burnout is different from the other related terms like Job satisfaction or depression and stress. Job burnout is related and specific to the work but depression can be because of any other factor in the job or in the surroundings of the workplace (Tong, et al., 2015).
There are certain consequences of burnout for employees which are to be studied for understanding the severity of the matter. The dangers of the employee burnout may not be realized but it leads to devastating conclusions for the organisation as well as for the employee personally. The following are the dangers or the consequences of employee burnout:
Lower Productivity:The employees who lose interest in the job and who does not get any motivation will work slower because of the lack of interest and it reduces the speed of his working and slower down the productivity as well. When the productivity of a single employee decreases it affects the functions of the overall management and leads to lower amount of revenue from the customers. This is a kind of process which starts from the productivity and ends at profit of the organisation and at the customer satisfaction.
More leaves and increase in absence from the job: The employees who get burnout often find excuses to not to be present at work, they try to keep themselves away from the work and the workplace environment. They often get and take leaves from the office. More sick leaves will affect the overall productivity of the work which affects the profitability of the organisation (Tong, et al., 2015).
Increase in the no. of mistakes: the employees suffering from the burnout are not able to pay their attention on the work which leads to more errors and mistakes which means the time involved in improving the errors is a total waste for the organisation and the productivity of per employees also decreases.
Depreciation in the quality: The reduced interest of the employee, lack of motivation and training leads to the negative impact on the quality of the products and services manufactured or provided by the employees. Reduction of quality will lead to customer dissatisfaction and it will hamper the overall image and future business success of the organisation (Gardazi, et al., 2016).
Higher rate of employee turnover: when employees suffers from the burnout in the organisation, they tend to leave the job and search from a job which is providing motivation, less stress and pressure to them. When the turnover of employees is high in any organisation, the organisation starts losing its manpower, the most important asset of the organisation and then they have to find new employee and have to train them for beginning for making capable to work which involves a lot of cost. It also affects the overall image and goodwill of the organisation in the market. Consumers trust the company when they feel that employee are working there for a longer period of time. This gives them senses of belonging and trust on the company as the employees are the ones which connects the customers to the companies. Low employee turnover is a good sign for the business but a high employee turnover is certainly not.
Conflicts with the colleagues:Burnout results in the frustration in the employees and it is created due to stress and depression and the pressure of work in the employees. Because of Job burnout, the employee sometimes gets involved in the conflicts with the colleagues due to the frustration level in the employees. Normally, the employees in the same team or organisation have different opinions on every matter and they share them with each other to take a final decision or make a conclusion but when a person is not ft mentally, he does not feel like talking or discuss anything with others. Also, every opinion or advice from others will be taken by him as the complaint or the criticism which he is not able to handle well and with calm mind. It carets differences between the colleagues and also lead to the unhealthy environment at the workplace which often increases the chances of the increased rate of burnouts in the organisation.
Disturbances in the work of co-workers:The workers working in the same team generally works together and when an employee is facing the job burnout , it also affects the work of the co-workers. The feeling or thought which crops up in the mind of workers will crop up slowly and gradually in the mind of co-workers too. Also, a team works together and one the effectiveness of one member is getting low, it disrupts the work of the whole team.
People experience burnout while working because they avoid the signs of burnout and their mental and physical strength begins to diminish. The best way to deal with the employee burnout is to prevent it from the occurrence of it which means an employee should take care of his own strengths and limitations and work according to that without pressurizing himself to do stressful work always. If an employee is not able to do anything on his own he should ask his mentors or others for the help. An employee should manage his time and efforts to complete and deliver the projects before the deadline. For this, he can make his own priorities in the work which would help him in dealing with the situations and for completing the work on time. During longer periods of work, a worker should take care of himself by doing required exercises in between, meditation or by diverting the mind in some entertainment activity. Exercises are considered as a powerful antidote to the stress and burnout situations which helps an individual to recover and to be prevented from these situations. That is how an employee can avoid the situations of burnout in the organisations to stay safe mentally, emotionally and physically (Beheshtifar & Omidvar, 2013).
The management can take certain actions to reduce burnout at the workplace so that they do not lose best of their talents and the productivity and quality does not get hampered. They can allocate the work properly according to the calibre and skills of the employees. They should identify the skills of the employees on regular basis with the help of training sessions and should motivate them regularly for the purpose of high level of motivation in the employees and to reach low employee turnover. The organisation should make the employees work for reasonable hours and give scheduled breaks to them so that they can socialize and make themselves relaxed.
The management should define the roles of the members of the team and should provide proper guidance to them in order to receive the quality work from them. A supportive culture should be maintained in the organisation in order to encourage the employees for providing their best efforts for the company and to give their heart and soul to the organisation.
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