Posted in leadership, self-improvement

Recognizing Burnout

With unrelenting change and unpredictability, it is hard to feel confident that we know and understand what is happening; it becomes hard to sustain a basic sense of well being” (Bardwick, 2002). As companies continue to require more from its workers and as workers’ hours continue to lengthen, personal stress, burnout, and symptoms of exhaustion and fatigue will increase in organizations. In addition, as exhaustion and fatigue continue in organizations, a robotic – mechanistic style of working may occur.

Maslach (1997) addresses this situation as “When the workplace does not recognize the human side of work, then the risk of burnout grows, carrying a high price with it.” Some of the costs for the workers dealing with burnout and with unpredictability in today’s workplace include lack of ability to cope in their personal and professional life, poor job performance, personal illnesses, anxiety and lack of sleep which can lead to secondary problems such as alcohol abuse and drug abuse (Maslach, 1997).

In an effort to make plans successful, add some compensation and incentives “to get the right behaviors”  during such environments. (Quinn, 2001).


Bardwick, J. (2002) Seeking the Calm in the Storm: Managing Chaos in Your Business Life. New York: Prentice Hall

Maslach, C., Leiter, M. (1997), The Truth about Burnout: How Organizations Cause Personal Stress and What to Do About It.San Francisco: Josey-Bass Publishers

Quinn, R. (1996). Deep Change: Discovering the Leader WithinSan   Francisco: Josey-Bass Publishers


For a list of Sheila’s books, check out



Dr. Sheila Embry is a govie, author, pracademician, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend who loves to read, write, think, and laugh. Many of her blog postings are summaries or excerpts of books that she read and wants to share to encourage others. An author with more than 25 years experience within the legislative and executive branches of the U. S. federal government holding 3 accredited degrees: Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership, Master of Arts in Human Resources Development, and Baccalaureate of Business Administration, she believes in continuing learning both on and off the job. She has been recognized with multiple professional and writing awards for her peer-reviewed, publications. Click the bibliography page above for a listing of all the publications.

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