Causes and Prevention of Burnout in human services There are many definitions of burnout all coming back to a main source of completion. Fried Social Worker. com defined 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 human soul. It is a malady that spreads gradually and continuously over time, putting people into a downward spiral … ” (Maslach, & Leitwe, 2008).
My understanding of burnout I am feeling overwhelmed and no longer see the importance or value in my work and contribution to the organization and need to rest, and take a little break from work. Making a clear case why vacations are given and needed every year. Often times Human Service Workers are over worked and under paid for the quality of work they provide in their community. The end result is burnout which often results in high employee turnover rates.
Burnout can occur at any time from being overly involved with activities within the community. A worker may feel as though they are not accomplishing much within the scope of their job, but often it is absolutely the complete opposite, the worker may not see the fruits of the labor, but the clients that the human service worker assist on a daily bases will vouch for the human service worker and their efforts and dedication to providing services to the public.
One way to prevent burnout is by setting boundaries to how far one is willing to commit themselves to community outreach projects. Another good way to prevent burnout is to delegate tasks and say no to requests from co-workers or clients that will cause undue stress and feeling overwhelmed. In the end the truth is as a burned out human service worker, one is not able to properly deliver services to clients, thus rendering one ineffective.
Learning to work more effectively and efficiently is the best way to eliminate burnout for all community workers from social worker to human service worker. The most efficient worker will find themselves satisfied with their job and duties. Ways to help eliminate employee burnout are staying in tuned with staff needs and concerns and address those concerns with the intention of solving those concerns. Allow staff to voice their opinions and suggestions on how to solve the problems they are facing. Lastly, reward staff for their hard work and dedication.
I personally posses patience, understanding and tolerance for others which I believe are all attributes which make me an excellent candidate for the field of human services. I also have learned not to take things personal when dealing with co-workers or the public. The ultimate way I purposely decrease my level of burnout is talking time to relax and decompress throughout the day and at the end of the day as well. I find when I am not able to take time to relax and decompress my stress and tension level increase significantly.
Ultimately, most employees will experience some form of burnout for different reasons, Supervisors should be empathetic to the needs of staff and work to address and resolve the needs of staff within reason. Support services should be made available to staff as a positive outlet to vent work related frustrations in addition to issues they may be experiencing in their personal lives as well. Every organization should have policies and procedures directed at decreasing and preventing employee burnout. An organization which takes care of his employees is an efficient and productive organization.
Employee burnout is a real and very serious issue which must be addressed and resolved because employees are what make the organization operate, Therefore, the mental, emotional and physical health of an organization’s employees is crucial to the success or failure of an organization. References Lewis, J, Packard, T, & Lewis, M. (2007). Developing and managing human resources. Management of Human Service Programs Fourth Edition, CH 6(9780495007821), Maslach, & Leitwe. (2008). define burnout. Retrieved from http://www. friedsocialworker. com/socialworkburnout. htm