This is an interesting article from UC Berkley’s Greater Good Magazine based on journalist Jennifer Moss’ new book The Burnout Epidemic: The Rise of Chronic Stress and How We Can Fix It. It not only talks about organisational factors, but personality types as well.
1. Workload. Overwork is a main cause of burnout. Working too many hours is responsible for the deaths of millions of people every year, likely because overwork makes people suffer weight loss, body pain, exhaustion, high levels of cortisol, sleep loss, and more.
2. Perceived lack of control. Studies show that autonomy at work is important for well-being, and being micromanaged is particularly de-motivating to employees. Yet many employers fall back on watching their employees’ every move, controlling their work schedule, or punishing them for missteps.
3. Lack of reward or recognition. Paying someone what they are worth is an important way to reward them for their work. But so is communicating to people that their efforts matter.
4. Poor relationships. Having a sense of belonging is necessary for mental health and well-being. This is true at work as much as it is in life. When people feel part of a community, they are more likely to thrive. As a Gallup poll found, having social connections at work is important. “Employees who have best friends at work identify significantly higher levels of healthy stress management, even though they experience the same levels of stress,” the authors write.
5. Lack of fairness. Unfair treatment includes “bias, favoritism, mistreatment by a coworker or supervisor, and unfair compensation and/or corporate policies,” writes Moss. When people are being treated unjustly, they are likely to burn out and need more sick time.
6. Values mismatch. “Hiring someone whose values and goals do not align with the values and goals of the organization’s culture may result in lower job satisfaction and negatively impact mental health,” writes Moss. It’s likely that someone who doesn’t share in the organization’s mission will be unhappy and unproductive, too.