What is Employee Burnout and explain its symptoms ?

Job burnout is a serious problem in today’s work environment of tight schedules and overwhelming pressure. Job burnout can seriously affect the mental and physical health of the employee and affect productivity in the organization. In many cases, employee burnout is symptomatic of deeper problems within the organization. It leads to a hostile and unfriendly work environment, affects team spirit and camaraderie and greatly affects morale.

Employee burnout can be described as a situation in which the employee or the worker feels extreme exhaustion which can be physical, emotional or mental. This is usually caused by overexertion, stressful work environment and lack of rest or sleep.

There are many causes for burnout. Some of them are :

• Inability to maintain a balance between the work in the office and your life at home.
• Trying to please everybody
• Monotony or boredom in the work place

Besides, people who work in the helping professions such as health, counseling or law enforcement are particularly prone to burnout.

There are many signs of burnout. Some of them are:

• Inability to enjoy life or share a laugh
• Lack of motivation to go to the workplace.
• A sense of being constantly hindered in the office
• Lack of energy and enthusiasm in the work
• Irritability and lack of patience with clients, coworkers and superiors
• Excessive cynicism and sarcasm.
• Headaches, pain in the neck or back or other physical symptoms.

Burnout can be resolved by addressing the things that usually cause it. Some of the reasons for burnout are :

1. Job expectations that are not clear: When the job roles are not clearly defined and there is no clear line of authority, the employee can become confused and frustrated. This leads to excessive demands from many quarters.

2. Hostile work space: When employees are constantly taunted and intimidated by an “office bully”, they may feel vulnerable and fed up. Equally frustrating, would be a boss who tries to undermine their authority by micromanaging things.

3. Incompatibility in ethics and values: If your vision does not match with that of your company, you will constantly feel out of place which can result in resentment and frustration.

4. Mismatch in job profile: If the job profile does not fit the employee due to over or under-qualification or any other reason, the result can be burnout.

5. Uneven work load: Uneven load such as extremely busy, chaotic and monotonous activity can cause burnout.

Treatment for burnout

Once the symptoms of burnout appear, it is necessary to treat the problem. Talking to your boss at the workplace, to a counselor or a mental health professional will be helpful. In some cases, burnout can be resolved by a new job or a new work environment within the same organization.