From publication by GNA Partners (GNAPartners.com) Updated 12/22/2016
STRESS AND BURNOUT ARE ABOUT
THE SAME EXCEPT THEY ARE NOT.
From publication by GNA Partners (GNAPartners.com)
Employees who work in high-stress environments
are at the highest risk of suffering employee
burnout. Characterized by exhaustion, a lack of
motivation and feelings of ineffectiveness or
frustration, burn out is a condition caused by
chronic and prolonged stress that leads to
reduced efficacy and productivity within the
workplace. Click image above to enlarge
Although the topic of burnout has garnered significant media attention during the past few years, there
isn’t one clear definition of what employee burnout is amongst medical professionals and psychologists.
In fact, “burnout” isn’t even a diagnosable syndrome in the way that other conditions, like depression or
anxiety, are. This indecision amongst experts has left employers and employees alike without a clear
sense of what burnout is or how to recognize it.
So how do you tell the difference between stress and burnout?
Because burnout is loosely defined as a result of prolonged stress, it can be very difficult to distinguish
between the two. There are, however, a few key differences that can help employers identify who on their
staff is just stressed, and who might be dealing the far more serious condition of burnout:
What causes employee burnout?
Despite the lack of a clear diagnostic definition of burnout, there is some consensus about what causes
burnout in the workforce:
It’s virtually impossible for an employee to meet or exceed expectations if they’re not entirely sure of
what their job requirements are. Employees facing unclear or unrealistic expectations often feel
overwhelmed with confusion and self-doubt.
Lack of downtime
While most professions have some sort of “busy season” or a production cycle that ebbs and flows, employees who are constantly scrambling during what feels like a perpetual busy season without any
hope of a slower pace or “downtime” to look forward to are at a very high risk of developing burnout.
If a typical office worker makes a mistake, they will undoubtedly face some sort of consequence, up to
and including termination. And while dealing with job insecurity is an unavoidable part of being
employed, for some professions it is by no means the worst thing that can happen if they make a
mistake at work. Doctors, for instance, have to make decisions that can mean the difference between
life and death for their patients on a regular basis. No wonder physicians have one of the highest rates
What are the consequences of burnout?
In addition to the devastating physical, mental and emotional effects burnout can have on individual
employees and their families, burnout can also cause a number of problems for employers, including:
Want to learn more about employee burnout?
Check out the video at https://www.gnapartners.com/blog/stress-vs-burnout/below to watch
their webinar: “Breaking Burnout: Understanding & Preventing Employee Burnout.”