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Causes And Prevention Of Burnout In Human Services Staff

1286 words - 5 pages

Burnout can affect people in a multitude of ways and in all careers. Burnout is a compilation of stressors building until an individual becomes disillusioned with his or her career. The feelings of worker burnout can cause organizations to experience a high turn-over rate or employees taking an unusual amount of sick days. This essay will explore some causes of burnout and methods that can help avoid burnout in human service organizations. This paper will also contain personal observations regarding burnout.BurnoutBurnout is defined as a breakdown of the emotional well-being of an individual because of stress in the workplace. Whereas an employee used to be a highly motivated and committed worker, burnout causes him or her to feel useless and incompetent. Schwartz (2008) describes burnout as:a psychological term for the experience of long-term emotional exhaustion, diminished interest, and of feeling like a robot or automaton at work. What once might have been enthusiasm about entering a profession or type of job is replaced by a sense of cynicism.Burnout causes a person to feel lackluster and wondering why they are even in the career field they are in or why he or she keeps coming to work every day. Burnout makes a worker think he or she is inadequate and leaves him or her less motivated. It affects the employee's attitude with clients and coworkers and his or her productivity. Not only does burnout affect the worker but also the organization's own level of competence suffers.An organization suffers burnout in many areas like high worker turn-over, employees calling in sick, and low productivity. The impact of burnout is a problem in all organizations but no more so than in a human service organization. The effect of burnout is most visible by the number of employees who quit the organization, which causes a high turnover of employees who have to be replaced by new employees. New employees take time to train therefore causing other workers to take up the slack. Human service employees are constantly in touch with the public and the burnout affect influences how workers interact with clients. Employees' poor attitudes with clients are felt by the client which makes for more complaints. All the problems caused by burnout can be effectively eliminated if an organization is alert and aware of the burnout syndrome.Causes of BurnoutBurnout has many causes. These causes can be individual, organizational, supervisory, or cultural. Individual burnout happens when an employee believing he or she can handle any task that come across his or her desks. This type of employee will not realize he or she is taking on too much until he or she is on the brink of burnout. A supervisory cause of employee burnout occurs when an employee does not receive the support of his or superiors. Supervisors who ignore precursors to burnout leave the employee feeling more stressed and unable to cope. Cultural differences in the organization can cause an employee to suffer...

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