Burnout and rapid employee turnover are problems that continually plague developed nations. Employees constantly are burdened with high work standards and even larger work loads without a corresponding increase in compensation. This document aims to address many of the issues that contribute to employee burnout and methods in which to alleviate their effects. In particular, older women with high external stress levels are prone to employee burnout. By adequately addressing these issues, older women and those within their immediate sphere of influence can better acclimate to the work environment. This acclimation will ultimately help older women live longer, more quality lives.
Employee burnout has become a very contentious issue of late. Due primarily to the loss of jobs overseas coupled with massive layoffs, employees are forced to do more work during a typical workday. Many of the more prestigious, higher paying positions have been eliminated or cut due to lack of overall demand within the global economy. What remain are very stressful and less fulfilling jobs which ironically, more Americans are competing for within a poor labor market. These aspects, among others ultimately help contribute the concept of employee burnout. Employee burnout is simply having a particular officer working more hours that he or she can physically perform. Burnout becomes particularly profound when the individual is distressed and incurs feelings of fatigue. Job burnout is the continuing sense of frustration and tiredness. This often occurs when a person is dedicated to a career or cause and does not receive the rewards he or she expected. One cause of such burnout is the time constraints embedded in the work environment. Employees have too much to do and too little time to do it. This, combined with an unpredictable day can contribute heavily to employee burnout. In regards to older women, this concept is true as well. Due to many of the aspects mentioned above, it is imperative for older women to prevent burnout by utilizing concepts that create balance and fulfillment within the work environment. Otherwise, the tendency for women to become consumed by their daily work duties will ultimately contribute heavily to their potential burnout (Shirom, 2005).
To begin, it is reasonable that people may feel strained and exhausted by the recurrent changes in working life the last decade. The times of mass euphoria, spending on borrowed money and the possession of large amounts of luxury material has subsequently evaporated from society. It has since been replaced with massive unemployment and deleveraging by the consumer. Individuals must now be content on intensification of work, insistence on flexibility, lack of control, and greater customer demands. This has become the reality as employee burnout becomes more rampant. Many of the causes of burnout for older women can be prevented. The factors that contribute to burnout are primarily psychological and within the realm of individual control. This presents opportunities, if used properly, for women to better prepare themselves against potential burnout. One method in which to do so is through regularly scheduled social events. The cause of many cases of burnout is due to an imbalance between work and life (Kristensen, 2005). By scheduling social events, an individual can help abate or diminish the influence of such imbalance. This activity also has implications for women far beyond those of diminishing the effects of burnout. By planning social outings, women can expand their social horizons and network. Women, particular older women need a sense of community within their lives. By organizing and scheduling social events, women can have fun while also expanding their community relationships with others. This ultimately helps eliminate the sense of low self-worth and mundane tasks which accompany burnout.
The second most common group of work-related health problems in the developed world, at the turn of the millennium, was stress. Stress has a very similar psychological concept to burnout. In many instances, they are one in the same. Stress, is key factor that causes burnout particularly as women move to more service oriented positions. Figure 1 below depicts the main causes of stress. It should come as no surprise that one of the highest causes of stress within an individual's life is that of work (Shirom, 2005).
Interestingly, the highest cause of stress is money which has a direct correlation to work. As I mentioned earlier, many of the premium, high paying jobs are not open. The individuals holding those positions have no intention of leaving for fear of lack of better career opportunities. In addition, the value of their homes, retirement savings, stocks and other assets have depreciated in value so much due to the financial crisis that they must now postpone retirement in an effort to regain lost savings. This has caused more women to compete of for fewer jobs. As the supply of older women increases, the wages ultimately needed to pay them will decline. This is typical supply and demand. As such, women are working for less money and in environments that are very conducive to stress. This concept is reinforced by the chart above as the two main causes of stress are work and money.
In order for older women to reduce this form of burnout, they must first adequately prepare their finances to better deal with the reality of the work environment. Discretionary income may need to be cut to reflect this change. However, as mentioned earlier, older women should still attempt to gather socially. By being proactive with finances, older women can avoid many of the pitfalls that have plagued Americans in the past. In regards to work, older women must commit to an honest work life balance that helps abate the influences of work and money on their lives. One method in which to abate those influences, particularly for a posttraumatic instance is through a fitness program (Kristensen, 2005). Fitness, in regards to older women helps accomplish two primary objectives. First, it helps relieve the psychological factors that accompany burnout and stress. Second, it helps older women, who often suffer from health issues, to better withstand the stressors that accompany life.
In addition, it is common for society to believe burnout for older women is caused primarily through work related activities. However, studies have shown otherwise. Accordingly, the process of burnout is context free, meaning it doesn't necessarily have any connections with work related activities. Hallsten (1993), for example, has suggested that a threatening environment is one key factor for burnout. This environment can occur with the context of work or within the traditional home, both with similar effects on the individual. In addition, Pines & Aronson (1988) described burnout to be found in situations that have been emotionally difficult for an extended period time. This can include divorce, financial stress, death of a loved one and so forth.
In order for older women to prevent this form of burnout they must first attempt to alleviate external forms of stress. This is a daunting task as external factors of stress are often beyond the individual's span of control. Therefore, it is much more effective for older women to pursue a hobby after work. This helps mitigate the influences of external stress on their lives. Hobbies are interests in life that provide fulfillment and enjoyment for an individual, both of which may be lacking in life. By having a mechanism by which they can obtain fulfillment, older women will be better able to deal with ordinary stressors of life.
Communication is also an integral aspect of burnout. Proper communication allows the individual to articulate any grievances with their current work environment to employers. Many employers understand that burnout contributes to a loss of productivity and rapid employee turnover. By articulating any potential conflicts, women are better able to find a mutually beneficial solution to work related stress. These solutions can include paid time off from work, a short break during the working day, sharing of work related activities and much more. Through these initiatives, women are in a better position to acclimate to their respective work environment without the added stress of the job.
Crossover is an inter-individual transmission of stress that occurs within a particular domain. The workplace is a common domain for crossover to occur. Crossover, like burnout can be very detrimental to older women who are particularly prone to stress. Crossover primarily occurs when an individual causes or transfers stress to another individual within the workplace. This often occurs in high structured organizations that have many layers of both management and personnel. Stress, accompanied with higher workloads and subsequent demands, are transferred from one individual to another. Emotions that are expressed by one individual within the workplace often elicit an emphatic response from another individual. This "sharing of feelings" is what contributes to the crossover effect in women. Women are naturally more emotional than their male counterparts. As a result, they tend to share more emotions with coworkers, family members, and those within their immediate sphere of influence. As such, they often are prone to crossover related difficulties such…