It is now clear that the Covid-19 pandemic has aggravated burnout and related forms of workplace distress, across many industries. This has led more organizations to become more aware of burnout, and more concerned about what to do about it. We felt it was the right time to assess the use of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) in organizations. This article will give an overview about what the MBI is, cover some concerning ways that it is being misused, and show how employers should use it for the benefit of employees, organizations, and the world’s understanding of burnout.
What Is the MBI?
As the pandemic has spilled from 2020 into 2021, so many people in so many places are talking about burnout. The phenomenon of burnout is not new — people who have been worn out and turned off by the work they do have appeared in both fictional and nonfictional writing for centuries. In the past 60 years, the term “burnout” has become a popular way of describing this particular phenomenon that captures what many people are experiencing now.
By the late 1970s, questions were crystallizing: What is the burnout experience? Why is it a problem? What causes it? Answering these questions would require research tools that did not yet exist, which led to the creation of the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI). First published in 1981 and now with its Manual in its fourth edition, the MBI is the first scientifically developed measure of burnout and is used widely in research studies around the world.
The MBI aligns with the World Health Organization’s 2019 definition of burnout as a legitimate occupational experience that organizations need to address, characterized by three dimensions:
To read the full HBR article, click the link below:
Authored by Christina Maslach and Michael P. Leiter
If the tumult of 2020 has prompted your organization or leadership team to reconsider people priorities such as employee well-being, resilience, or purpose, then you’re in good company.
Your employees are reconsidering you, too.
Nearly two-thirds of US-based employees we surveyed said that COVID-19 has caused them to reflect on their purpose in life. And nearly half said that they are reconsidering the kind of work they do because of the pandemic. Millennials were three times more likely than others to say that they were reevaluating work.
Today, people have higher expectations of the organizations they work for, purchase from or invest in. Employees, consumers, shareholders, suppliers, governments and communities demand responsible organizations that are grounded in purpose and committed to delivering long-term value.
In this world of heightened corporate social responsibility and the renewed shift toward stakeholder capitalism, the promises companies make must be kept. And the only way to keep brand promises is with a purpose-driven culture.