Causes and Prevention of Burnout in Human Services Staff Paper

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Causes and Prevention of Burnout in Human Services Staff Paper BSHS/462- Effective Management of Human Service Organizations August 8, 2011
Kimberly Eaton

Causes and Prevention of Burnout in Human Services Staff Paper According to the Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary (2011) burnout is defined as the “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration”. In high stressed work environments, an employee can feel burnout. This is especially true for human services providers because they are consistently working with the public. The following paragraphs will explore factors that cause burnout, and how to prevent burnout. The following paragraphs will also explore how I react and respond to personal and work-related stress, how I can reduce the effects of burnout, and how I can assist staff burnout. Factors That Causes Burnout

Burnout can be cause by individual, cultural, organizational, supervisory, and social support factors. Individual factors can include a person’s personality type, and/or his or hers work related goals. If a person sets unrealistic work related goals, such as, thinking that they can save every child from abuse, that person will become burned out quickly. Also sometimes a person’s personality type will not fit well with their career choice in human services.

A cultural factor that could lead to an employee to become burned out is if the organization polices are against the employee’s cultural beliefs. Sometimes in the human services field, an employee will have to choose between their career and their culture. If this is an ongoing battle for the employee, the employee will become burned out.

According to Lewis, Lewis, and Packard (2007) some organizational factors that could lead to an employee to become burned out are, “lack of feedback, large amount of conflict, no trust, overload, and has a job with low motivating potential”. When an employee is working for an organization...
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