Research of Organizational and Personal Factors of Professional Burnout of Personnel in a Consulting Organization

Author Name(s): Irina A. Rudaleva , Irina A. Kabasheva, Alina G. Khairullina
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Professional burnout is a process of gradual loss of emotional, cognitive and physical energy accompanied by symptoms of emotional and mental exhaustion and physical fatigue, personal standoffishness and a decrease in satisfaction level with the performance of work. There are three main groups of factors among the factors of professional burnout: personal, role and organizational. Professional burnout of employees of consulting companies is characterized by a decrease in the evaluation of competence and the value of their activities, and by emotional exhaustion. We evaluated the influence of various personal and organizational factors on the development of the professional burnout syndrome. The following factors (in descending order) have the greatest impact on this state of personnel: material satisfaction with work, marital status, health status, work experience of an employee in the company. The factor of “material satisfaction with work” is in direct proportion to the results, i.e. the more wages, the more often a person experiences a feeling of fatigue and “squeeze”. This dependence is explained by the fact that career growth and, accordingly, the employee’s salary depend on how effectively he or she works during a year, develops mandatory training programs and seeks to assume new roles and tasks. A new position requires both greater responsibility and additional workload.

The next important factor is the employee’s marital status. The more stable the marital status, the less pronounced is the “squeezed lemon” syndrome. The more an employee works in a company, the less often he or she experiences chronic fatigue syndrome.

According to the staff opinions, organizational factors of professional burnout are inconsistencies between the work performed to wages, and also high load and multitasking. Role factors have little effect on the professional burnout of employees of consulting companies. The result of professional burnout is the growth of staff turnover in consulting companies.


Let’s investigate the presence of the professional burnout syndrome, as well as the factors that cause it, among employees of the audit and consulting firm.

Professional burnout is a syndrome that develops against the chronic stress and leads to the exhaustion of the emotional, energy and personal resources of the working person. The physical and neuropsychic loads that people experience during work are different depending on the type of activity. With single and small loads, natural mechanisms of body regulation are switched on, what helps to cope with the consequences of such loads. However, “self-regulation” does not always work, and professional burnout comes as a result of the internal accumulation of negative emotions without their “discharge” and “liberation”. The paramount urgent task is to solve the problem of self-regulation of the employee’s psychological state.

Thus, professional burnout is the process of the consequent loss of emotional, cognitive and physical energy, manifested in the symptoms of emotional and mental exhaustion and physical fatigue, personal standoffishness and a decrease in satisfaction with the performance of work.


HR-specialists, organizational psychologists, and business trainers should study the factors that cause the development of professional burnout in order to diagnose the development of the syndrome in time and provide the necessary assistance to employees.

The company needs to reconsider the organizational aspects of working hours and the burden on employees, as apart from personal factors, organizational factors also contribute to the development of burnout. These include: organization of working time, employee’s workplace, and relationships in the work team. The emergence of the professional burnout syndrome is influenced by excessive working hours, regular involvement of a person in overtime work, work on weekends, frequent business trips. All this deprives employees of a proper rest.

It must be remembered that professional burnout can occur in a whole team. “Burnout” employees unite with colleagues who have similar problems; negative moods increase, and as a result, the quality of work decreases. The reasons for professional burnout in the team are often the organizational factors. Obviously, the consequences of collective burnout are deplorable. The loyalty of the personnel, the quality of work, the productivity of labor, and, as a result, the turnover of staff increase.

The syndrome of professional burnout is characterized by a feeling of dissatisfaction with yourself and the actions of surrounding people, indifference and even dislike of the profession and position. All these factors are not compensated by either a high salary or other benefits related to professional activity. Important in understanding this problem is that the syndrome of professional burnout can not usually be overcome by short-term rest or reduced load. The only solution is to change the position or even the type of activity. Therefore, it is necessary to exclude factors that could lead to its occurrence.


The work is carried out according to the Russian Government Program of Competitive Growth of Kazan Federal University.


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