Burnout: Emotional Exhaustion and Self-regulatory Goal Attainment

1639 Words Apr 30th, 2007 7 Pages
You have a hundred things to do… by tomorrow, the pressure is mounting, expectations are high, and the phone won't quit ringing. Are you headed towards burnout? It is quite possible. Most people have an idea of what burnout is. You dread going to work. You go through your day feeling numb. You have lost your enthusiasm for your job. And you continually feel tired, stressed and drained of energy. If this sounds familiar, you could be suffering from burnout. Burnout is on the rise in modern society resulting in poor performance and health.
Maslach and Leiter (1997) define burnout as "the index of the dislocation between what people are and what they have to do. It represents erosion in values, dignity, spirit and will—an erosion of the
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They even developed an assessment tool called the My Relationship with Work Test. This test is easy to take and easy to score. The test will clarify for you which aspects of your job are a good fit for you and which aren't. After you take and score the test, you'll plot your results on a graph to reveal your "personal profile". This profile shows which aspects of your burnout are the

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most troublesome. The test evaluates the following areas: workload, control, reward, community, fairness and values. (Leiter & Maslach, 2005)
There are three levels of burnout: trait, state and activity. At the trait level the worker is nonfunctional; it encompasses all facets of their life, is extremely serious and requires immediate intervention. The state level is periodic and situational. It can be problematic but is usually relieved. And last, burnout maybe activity based. This level occurs when an activity is performed over and over at intense levels. The best way of decreasing the chances of burnout that is activity based is to change the routine up.
There is another way to characterize burnout, by stages. Edelwick & Brodsky (2005) reports that one who is experiencing burnout may go through four stages. (James, pg.486) Stage 1 is Enthusiasm. This is when a worker enters the workplace with high hopes and unrealistic expectations. Such a view will inevitably end up in Stage 2, Stagnation. This is where the workers financial, personal and career needs are

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