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Burnout, Work Engagement and Performance

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1 Burnout, Work Engagement and Performance
Evangelia Demerouti, PhD Athens, May 2004

2 Outline Burnout: background Measurement of Burnout Research Findings
Engagement Burnout Interventions

3 Burnout: ‘discovery’ Since 1974 (Freudenberger)
Definition: Syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalisation, and reduced personal accomplishment that can occur among people who do “people work” of some kind (Maslach, 1982) Main cause: Emotional demands posed by clients

4 Burnout: reasons for interest
Negative consequences for employees (lack of interest in work – existential doubts) Consequences for clients (low quality of service) High costs for organizations Its excessive spread (around 20% of the employees) Important social problem but still unclear concept

5 Causes of burnout Work pressure Emotional demands Role problems
Work-family conflict Social support Feedback Participation in decision making

6 Consequences of burnout
Individual level Depression Psychosomatic complaints Infections Work-related attitudes Job satisfaction Organizational commitment Turnover intention Organizational level Absenteeism Turnover

7 Burnout and Personality
Neuroticism Low extraversion Low hardiness External locus of control Low self-esteem Type A personality Passive coping style

8 Depression vs. Burnout (clinical)
Depressive mood Unhappiness, displeasure Weight loss Fearfulness Sleeping problems (wake up early) Guilt feelings Suicide thoughts Indecisiveness Attribution of the problem: sickness General Low vitality Burnout Anger, aggression Low pleasure No weight symptoms No fearfulness Sleeping problems (difficulty to fall asleep) Guilt feelings No suicide thoughts Indecisiveness (complaint) Attribution of the problem: work Work-related Moderate vitality

9 Occupation-independent conceptualisation of burnout
Related to traditional work stressors Work stressors better predictors than ‘working with people’ (Schaufeli & Enzmann, 1998) Burnout symptoms parallel to phenomena in non-service occupations (e.g., fatigue, alienation, withdrawal, efficacy) Artefact of the utilized research designs: alternative hypotheses untested

10 Measurement of Burnout

11 Two ways of diagnosis (Company) doctors using diagnostic session - decision tree Questionnaire (self-reports)

12 MBI OLBI Emotional Exhaustion (9): feelings of being emotionally overextended and drained by others Depersonalization (5): feelings of callous, cynical and detached responses toward clients Reduced Personal Ac-complishment (8): decline in one’s feelings of competence and successful achievement in work with people Exhaustion (7): feelings of emotional emptiness, overtaxing from work, strong need for rest and a state of physical exhaustion Distancing from work (8): distancing oneself from one’s work, negative attitudes and behaviours toward work in general, work contents and object

13 Oldenburg Burnout Inventory
Positive and negative worded items Only the core dimensions of burnout Not context-specific Based on theory and not on empirical findings Cut-off scores: - clinical burnout above the percentile on both dimensions Demerouti, 1999

14 Example items OLBI & MBI-GS
Exhaustion (OLBI) “After my work, I usually feel worn out and weary” “After my work, I usually feel totally fit for my leisure activities” (R). Distancing from work (OLBI) “I usually talk about my work in a derogatory way” “I get more and more engaged in my work” (R) (1 = totally disagree, 4 = totally agree) Exhaustion (MBI-GS) “I feel burned out from my work”, “I feel tired when I get up in the morning and have to face another day on the job”. Cynicism (MBI-GS) “I have become less enthusiastic about my work”, “I have become more cynical about whether my work contributes anything”.  Professional efficacy (MBI-GS) “I feel I am making an effective contribution to what this organization does”, “In my opinion, I am good at my job”. (0 = never, 6 = every day)

15 Theoretical explanations

16 Demand-Control Model Autonomy Job Demands Karasek, 1979

17 Effort-Reward Imbalance Model
Development Status, Self-esteem External Demands Salary Internal Demands Siegrist, 1996

18 Inequity Model Outcomes Investments Schaufeli et al. 1996

19 Job Demands Role conflict Work-Home Work times Emotional Demands
Work Pressure

20 Job Resources Skill Variety Possibilities Self-growth
Supervisory Coaching Social Support Autonomy

21 Balance Role conflict Skill Variety Work-Home
Possibilities Self-growth Work times Coaching Emotional Demands Social Support Work pressure Autonomy

22 Job Demands-Resources Model
Mental Job Demands + (Impaired) Health Emotional Physical - Organizational Outcomes Etc. - Support Job Resources + Motivation + Autonomy Feedback Etc. Demerouti et al., 2001

23 Assumptions Unique Working Environment for every occupational group
2 categories: Job Demands and Job Resources 2 Processes Health Impairment process Motivational process Job Resources can be Buffer against Job Demands Job Demands may undermine the Motivational Impact of Job Resources

24 Research findings

25 Human services, production, ATC, N = 374
Self-reports, observers ratings (italics) Demerouti et al., 2001

26 Demerouti et al., 2000

27 Food Processing Industry, N=214
Job Demands Burnout T2 LT Absence WP .63 .21 .92 Reorgan .58 -.68 .62 Job Resources T2 ST Absence Autonomy Commitment .96 -.20 Participation .67 Bakker, Demerouti, De Boer & Schaufeli, 2003


29 Human Services, N=146 Bakker, Demerouti & Verbeke, 2004

30 (Im) Balance Impaired health Low motivation Impaired health Motivation
JOB DEMANDS Health Low motivation Health Motivation L L H JOB RESOURCES

31 Study among salespersons (N= 650)
burned-out salespeople: lowest in-role & extra-role performance non burned-out salespeople: highest in-role & extra-role performance customer-exhausted: among the highest performers (in-role & extra-role performance)  compensation strategy customer-depersonalized: in-role performance uninfluenced, extra-role performance diminished  loss-based selection, in a proactive manner ineffective: highest similarity with the burned-out group (low in- & extra-role performance)  feelings of in-efficiency & poor professional self-esteem !!! The relationship between burnout – performance is not clear cut!

32 Reciprocal effects Exhaustion  Errors  more JD  more Exhaustion
Depersonalisation  negative behaviour  less JR  more Depersonalisation Competence  good performance  more JR  more Competence Negative or Positive Spiral...

33 Depersonalization III Resources III
Exhaustion I Job Demands I Exhaustion II Demands II Exhaustion III Demands III Personal Accomplishment I Accomplishment II Depersonalization I Job Resources I Depersonalization II Resources II Depersonalization III Resources III Accomplishment III Bakker, Demerouti, van Dierendock & Schaufeli, submitted

34 Work engagement

35 Towards positive psychology
Most psychologists are busy with sicknesses instead of well-being - Publications on negative vs. positive states are 17:1 (Diener et al., 1999) Causes of sicknesses are not identical with the causes of well-being Absence of sickness does not automatically mean presence of well-being Different focus: instead of treatment and prevention, improvement and optimalization!

36 Burnout vs. Engagement Exhaustion Cynicism Red. Competence Vigor
Dedication Absorption

37 Work engagement: definition
Engagement: a positive, fulfilling, work-related state of mind that is characterized by vigor, dedication, and absorption (Schaufeli et al., 2004). It refers to a persistent and pervasive affective–cognitive state that is not focused on any particular object, event, individual, or behavior. Dimensions Vigor is characterized by high levels of energy and mental resilience while working, the willingness to invest effort in one’s work, and persistence also in the face of difficulties. Dedication is characterized by a sense of significance, enthusiasm, inspiration, pride, and challenge. Absorption is characterized by being fully concentrated and happily engrossed in one’s work, whereby time passes quickly and one has difficulties with detaching oneself from work.

38 Work Engagement Vigor Dedication Absorption
At my work, I feel bursting with energy At my job, I feel strong and vigorous Dedication To me, my job is challenging I am enthusiastic about my job Absorption When I am working, I forget everything else around me I am completely immersed in my work

39 Engaged Employees Take personal initiative
Generate their own positive feedback Are also engaged outside their work Are tired in a different way Also want to do other things than working

40 Prevalence %

41 Home Care, N=45.000 Job Demands Burnout Client Satisfaction + - - Job
Workload Job Demands Burnout Client Satisfaction Emotions + - Intimity Work-Home - Support Job Resources Engagement Efficiency Autonomy + + Feedback Coaching Source: Taris, Bakker et al. (in prep.)


43 Burnout interventions

44 Overview of the strategies
Focus Aim Organization Individual Identification Primary prevention Secundary prevention Treatment

45 Organisational strategies
Risk inventarisation Screening Identification Primary prevention Regulation of work pressure Job design / task content Conflict management Management Development Secondary prevention Contact company doctor Social-medical team Treatment

46 Individual strategies
Self-monitoring Self-assessment Identification Primary prevention Didactic stress management Work-Family balance Secondary prevention Time management Relaxation training Social medical supervision Psychotherapy Treatment

47 Success (meta-analysis)
k N d Effect Cogn. therapy 18 858 .68 moderate Relaxation 17 982 .35 small Multimodal 8 470 .51 moderate Organization 5 1463 .08 non-sign. Van der Klink et al. (2000)

48 Critical success factors
Stepwise systematic approach Adequate diagnosis and analyses of the problems Combination of work- and person-oriented approaches Active participation of all involving parties Commitment of the top Kompier & Cooper (1999)

49 JDR-Project Project Acquisition Training Consultants Data via Internet
questionnaire Project team Project Acquisition Training Consultants Data via Internet Report Interventions Follow-up

50 JDR-Project Project Acquisition Training Consultants Data via Internet
questionnaire Project team Project Acquisition Training Consultants Data via Internet Report Interventions Follow-up Individual Feedback

51 Feedback Well-Being Source:

52 Feedback Job Demands Source:

53 Feedback Job Resources


55 Summary and Future Burnout: Syndrome of our times
More clarity regarding causality & consequences Multi-dimensional approaches JDR-model: flexible and static structure Scientific - Integration Practice – Application to organizations, teams, and individuals Future Research Longitudinal, positive health indicators, reciprocal relations, burnout contagion and crossover, international research

56 Thank you for your attention!

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