Burnout is one of the major reasons for the high rate of turnover in organizations (Childs & Stoeber, 2012). Clearly, companies have to operate in the highly competitive business world in quite difficult conditions, since such resources as funds, technology, human resources and so on are quite scarce (Childs & Stoeber, 2012). Employees have to complete a variety of tasks within short periods, they also have to work under significant pressure, and this leads to burnout. It is necessary to note that the main causes and effects of burnout are quite clear, as there is extensive research on the matter.
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Thus, it has been acknowledged that workload and limited time to perform tasks as well as the unfriendly atmosphere in the workplace, have been major reasons for burnout. Childs and Stoeber (2012) also note that perfectionism is another reason as high demands and expectations of management (as well as colleagues) lead to greater burnout. Major outcomes of burnout are also clear as it leads to various errors, lack of engagement, and, eventually, a higher rate of turnover (Diestel, Cosmar & Schmidt, 2013). At the same time, appropriate strategies to address the issue have not been properly outlined or researched yet.
There is certain research on the matter, but it is quite limited and inconsistent. For instance, Dam, Keijsers, Eling & Becker (2011) argue that motivational intervention is unlikely to be effective with burnout employees as it can be effective with healthy employees only. The researchers stress that burnout employees are indifferent to such measures, and they are still dissatisfied with their jobs and reluctant to work hard. At the same time, Guillot (2013) states that positive reinforcement is one of the most effective ways to address burnout in the working place.
The researcher notes that monetary rewards are especially effective, but there are other measures as well. For instance, appraisal and a simple note of gratitude can be very effective. Researchers also provide other recommendations on how to eliminate burnout. For example, Nahrgang, Morgeson, and Hofmann (2011) note that the improvement of job resources has a positive impact on employees’ engagement and satisfaction with their work. Thus, the availability of proper job resources reduces the burnout of employees.
However, Nahrgang et al. (2011) do not provide sufficient data to support their assumption. Furthermore, Guillot (2013) states that, apart from positive reinforcement, burnout can be eliminated with the help of diversification, assignment of challenging projects, mini-vacations, and changing daily routines (changing the time when certain tasks are completed). However, the researcher does not provide any evidence to justify the effectiveness of these measures.
It is clear that it is important to identify the effectiveness of each strategy mentioned above to develop proper measures to be undertaken to eliminate burnout. Clearly, when managers simply try to adopt this or that measure without understanding their outcomes and effectiveness, they risk making a lot of errors and even worsen the situation. It is essential to consider each measure to address burnout (mentioned above) to identify the degree of its effectiveness, conditions under which it can be efficient and its outcomes.
Therefore, the research question can be formulated as follows: Which are the most efficient preventive strategies that can be applied to address burnout? This research will focus on such methods as positive reinforcement, including such benefits as mini-vacations and bonuses, improvement of job resources, diversification, provision of challenging projects, and the change of daily routines. Some recommendations on the way to use these methods will also be provided.
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It is possible to conclude that it is necessary to research the way positive reinforcement affects burnout. It is also crucial to identify the extent to which improved job resources reduce burnout in the working place. Of course, it is important to measure the way diversification, challenging projects, mini-vacations, and changed daily routines contribute to the elimination of burnout. This will enable managers to choose the right strategies to address burnout in their companies and improve the performance of employees as well as entire organizations.
Childs, J.H. & Stoeber, J. (2012). Do you want me to be perfect? Two longitudinal studies on socially prescribed perfectionism, stress and burnout in the workplace. Work & Stress, 26(4), 347-364.
Dam, A., Keijsers, G.P.J., Eling, P.A.T.M., & Becker, E.S. (2011).Testing whether reduced cognitive performance in burnout can be reversed by a motivational intervention. Work & Stress, 25(3), 257-271.
Diestel, S., Cosmar, M., & Schmid, K.H. (2013). Burnout and impaired cognitive functioning: The role of executive control in the performance of cognitive tasks. Work & Stress, 27(2), 164-180.
Guillot, C. (2013). Avoiding burnout. Internal Auditor, 70(2), 44-49.
Nahrgang, J.D., Morgeson, F.P., & Hofmann, D.A. (2011). Safety at work: A meta-analytic investigation of the link between job demands, job resources, burnout, engagement, and safety outcomes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96(1), 71-94.