The problem of emotional burnout came into the world of research and discussions in the second half of the 20th century. Sometimes the term “professional burnout” is used, emphasizing that this syndrome manifests itself in the professional sphere and is connected with a person’s attitude to work. If no changes occur in a professional sphere, a person will transfer consequences of the syndrome to other spheres of his/her life.
In our time of mad rush and constant changes this topic is becoming more and more urgent for a modern person.
Causes of burnout
Let us examine why this syndrome occurs. According to Lengle, for example, it occurs because of lack of true existential meaning of the activity performed by a person. There are a number of other theories that name the following reasons for emotional burnout – constant stress at work, monotonous work, misunderstanding of company goals, increased sense of responsibility, and others.
Previously, it was considered that emotional burnout is a problem for representatives of “human-person” professions, those who communicate with people every day: salespeople, teachers, HR-specialists. We conducted a research among employees of a manufacturing company and found that the level of burnout is even higher among “human-technical” employees, those who work in production and communicate with people minimally during their work shift. What does it mean? That at the moment employees of various activity areas are subject to this symptom.
In order to consider ways of overcoming and preventing the syndrome, it is worth remembering K. Maslach’s theory, according to which emotional burnout syndrome manifests itself in three symptoms, and ways to deal with each will be different.
The first symptom: emotional exhaustion
It is manifested by constant fatigue, physical malaise and a decreased emotional background. In simple words, a person feels constant fatigue and just needs to remember the first step of Maslow’s pyramid and satisfy his physiological needs – to have a good sleep, eat and rest, preferably in the fresh air. If you are a manager and have noticed such symptoms in your subordinate, do not talk to him about “high”, but just let him go for a day or two from work. You have to be aware and not overwork your empoyees use employee hour tracker to arrange workload accordigly
Second symptom: Depersonalization.
It manifests itself in indifference and even negativism towards people around you, relations with colleagues are deformed, attitudes become cynical towards others. The first thing to do is to remember that all people are normal and in each person we already find what we like and what we do not like. But, after the recommendations to the first symptom, people will already seem more pleasant.
The third symptom: Reduction of personal achievements
The most difficult to fight. The person underestimates his successes and achievements, evaluates himself negatively and underestimates his own dignity. In the most aggravated cases the person may feel that he/she has always done the wrong thing, has chosen the wrong profession, has not achieved anything in this life, and sees no way out. The first thing to do is to remember that “failures do not exist, only the lessons we learn from them”. A wonderful quote by Robin Sharma, whose books are recommended reading, especially in a state of emotional burnout. When we treat past experiences like a good teacher, we realize that it’s never too late to start something new, set ourselves new goals, write a plan for implementation and achieve them. If you are a manager and began to notice signs of this symptom, it is a signal that the subordinate needs additional support and motivation. Tell him how much you appreciate him, believe in him, emphasize his merits and his contribution.
Remember that work with a burnout syndrome starts with unloading and a physically healthy body, and work with the mindset and attitudes follows.