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Burnout can be described as a state of fatigue that an individual may experience when they are under intense stress. Burnout may be manifested physically, mentally or emotionally. Employees undertaking high stress jobs are most likely to experience burnout at work by showing emotional, behavioral and physical symptoms (Lewis et al, 2007). Physical indicators of burnout may be regular absenteeism from work because of illness, questionable changes in ones weight or even a drained appearance. Emotional burnout symptoms include withdrawal, increased feelings of cynicism, helplessness and failure. Behavioral symptoms may include tendencies of employees to stay in isolation, abuse of food, drugs and alcohol to cope with stressful work tasks, procrastination of duties and even constant outbursts with other employees.
Burnout may come up as a result of ones personality, socio- cultural factors, organizational or supervisory factors or even a combination of any of the above mentioned factors. Employees with personalities that tend to conflict with the philosophy of their respective management are most likely to exhibit burnout (Borritz, 2006). When the policies at work are against workers' cultural norms or they work under poor management and lack motivation they may sow signs of burnout.
There are various methods that can be used to prevent burnout but they depend on the type of burnout observed or shown by employees. Providing a variety of duties or restructuring of employee responsibilities can go along way in preventing burnout that come as a result of monotonous or extremely stressful daily routines. Supervisors should work towards improving the means in which they motivate their employees and aim towards being their role models (Lewis et al, 2007). Constant communication between employees and management helps improve social bonds at work and can create a channel for workers to seek support from the management when they are stressed, management may also seek to create programs for employee assistance to deal with burnout cases.
I have realized that I am the kind of person who tends to overreact when am under highly stressful situations. When am stressed I try to do things I enjoy such as listening to rock music, reading a novel or going to the gym. I also find time to be alone each day and meditate which together with the earlier developed practices have enabled me manage my stress and consequently reducing burnout. As a human service manager, one is required to have a vast knowledge of the signs of burnouut among employees. By having the ability to detect employee burnout on its first stages will go along way in preventing it. My top priority as manager would be to stay alert and detect burnout among my employees and deal with it immediately to reduce chances of progression. I would also ensure that I maintain a contact database which can assist workers deal with burnout issues making it a smooth and efficient process. Human service managers should also be well informed on means of dealing with their own burnout cases because a manager who cannot manage their own stress would not address employees' burnout cases efficiently.
Burnout cases at work are becoming a common occurrence that leads to poor performance at work or reduced productivity among employees. Supervisors and managers can detect and prevent burnout by knowing the symptoms, causes and developing means to manage such cases. Managers should also examine themselves and device means by which they can manage their own stress. By learning means of dealing with personal stress, a manager can easily translate their techniques and help assist their employees. Development of stress management programs at work places can also play a major role in managing burnout cases among employees and improve their productivity.