There continues to be a great deal of misunderstanding when it comes to the condition of Burnout.  I frequently hear clients, friends and family telling me that they are “burned out” and when I enquire about what they actually mean, they usually tell me that they are simply exhausted.  They often add that they are fed-up too.

While exhaustion is one of the dimensions of Burnout, there are another 2 dimensions that often do not get the recognition they desreve, namely cynicism and reduced professional efficacy.  These 3 dimensions need to co-exist for a person to be truly suffering from Burnout.  In other words they need to feel exhausted, feel jaded and negative about their own and other peoples’ purposes and motives, and feel inadequate in the role they are playing at work.  Only when all 3 of these feelings are present does a person qualify for the diagnosis of Burnout.

And when it comes to reducing the risk and managing employees who are burned-out, many people think that it’s all about reducing the workload.  But again, it is a misperception that only work demands cause Burnout as there are 5 other contributing factors namely interpersonal relationships, positive feedback, autonomy, fairness and values.  Only when an employer acknowledges and addresses all 6 of these factors or causes, will a positive outcome be achieved.   

Recent research as shown that reports of Burnout by employees has increased by as much as 33% since the onset of the Covid pandemic, which is easy to understand when one considers all of the causes, especially interpersonal relationships and positive feedback, which have suffered significantly as a result of the changes in employees’ work environments.

If you are interested in learning more about the complexities of Burnout and how you can reduce the risk by implementing tried and tested organisational strategies, you can sign up for an in-house workshop with as little as 6 of your employees. 


Take care everyone.

Your partner in Mental Health Matters in the Workplace.

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