Job burnout is a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity. It can be considered a prolonged response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stressors on the job, and is deﬁned by the three dimensions of exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficiency. Burnout can be caused by being overworked, understaffed, and misguided by management. There is an abundance of research on the topic of burnout and how it relates to employee engagement and work life balance. Like many things in an organization, it can have a dramatic impact on one’s mental and physical health.
Personality plays a key role in how well we manage our time and responsibilities. This suggests that a positive mindset and attitude can help reduce stress when under pressure. One study found that all five personality traits from the Big Five model were highly correlated with job burnout and turnover. The traits were found to be predictors of job burnout where individuals who were higher in neuroticism and lower in extraversion, conscientiousness, and agreeableness were more prone to experience job burnout. It seems that communication and collaboration with other team members can dramatically decrease the effects of burnout.
When an individual is overworked for a long period of time, they can experience chronic burnout. It has three components: emotional exhaustion, cynicism and detachment. It’s different from short term burnout due to the fact that it can result in serious health issues. Long term stress on a person’s body can affect mood, heart health, and more. On top of that, it can weaken the feelings of fulfillment from job rewards (i.e. paycheck), employee engagement, and job creativity. This would mean that there are virtually no motivators either external or internal that would drive an employee to continue the job. This is how high turnover occurs.
Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce burnout. Although personality cannot be changed, specific behaviors and habits can. Next time you feel stressed about a project, try reaching out to a coworker. Talking it out with someone can be beneficial for both problem solving and mental stability. We are all human, and sometimes we need a break. It’s important for organizations to schedule consistent breaks for their employees so that productivity can be maximized. It’s also crucial that employees’ personal lives be considered so that everyone can have a good work life balance. If a team member is not performing as well as they should, try to first consider what’s going on in their lives. They could be going through a personal issue and need some time off. All employees need to be able to feel that they have control over their careers. Without it, they can feel helpless, overworked and burnt out.