chapter  8
23 Pages

Interventions to prevent and alleviate burnout

ByMICHAEL P . LEITER AND CHRISTINA MASLACH

Burnout is a syndrome that develops in response to problematic relationships between employees and their workplaces. A poor alignment of organizational structures and processes with employees’ inclinations and aspirations creates tensions that deplete energy, reduce involvement, and discourage employees’ sense of efficacy (Brotheridge & Grandey, 2002; Maslach & Leiter, 1997). These relationships are also described in terms of imbalance or mismatch or incongruity — for example, the imbalance between demands and resources (Bakker & Demerouti, 2007), or the job-person mismatch in six areas of the workplace: workload, control, reward, community, fairness, and values (Leiter & Maslach, 2004). When these problematic relationships last a long time, and become a more chronic condition, then the detrimental impact of burnout on well-being and performance becomes even more significant – and leads to increasing calls for effective solutions to this problem.