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Workplace Burnout Impact And POC Solution
  • 3

  • Course Code:
  • University: ACAP
  • Country: Australia

Assessment 1: Short Essay

Students will complete one short essay, of 1000 words (excluding references) about a contemporary sustainability challenge explaining how it is relevant across different contexts, e.g. individual, professional, and community, and summarising evidence- based responses to a sustainability challenge.


(Each paragraph should contain the bulleted points below)

•    Introduce the topic
•    Introduce the sustainability challenge to be discussed with a reference
•    Outline the purpose of the essay and the topics be addressed (what challenge and solution will you discuss)
•    Give the thesis statement (the main argument or point of your essay) (e.g. How can these issues be responded to you?  )

How does the chosen contemporary sustainability challenge impact on the individual?
•    TOPIC: Introduce the chosen contemporary sustainability challenge and relate to individual contexts
•    EXPLAIN: Why this is a challenge for individuals?
•    EVIDENCE: Support with academic sources.
•    CONCLUDE and LINK: Conclude main point and link to your next paragraph.    

How does the chosen contemporary sustainability challenge impact on broader contexts (professional or community)?
•    TOPIC: Introduce chosen contemporary sustainability challenge and relate to broader contexts
•    EXPLAIN: Why this is a challenge for broader contexts?
•    EVIDENCE: Support with academic sources.
•    CONCLUDE and LINK: Conclude main point and link to your next paragraph main point.    

Outline one solution to the challenge (e.g. burnout)
•    TOPIC: Identify one evidence-based solution to the challenge you have identified.
•    EXPLAIN: Explain the solution.
•    EVIDENCE: Support with academic sources.
•    CONCLUDE and LINK: Conclude main point and link to your next paragraph main point.  
Evaluate solution 1 to the challenge (e.g. burnout)
•    TOPIC: Introduce the strengths / limitations of the response.
•    EXPLAIN: How useful this solution is as a response to the challenge?
•    EVIDENCE: Support with academic sources.
•    CONCLUDE and LINK: Provide on overall conclusion about the usefulness of the strategy.    

•    Summarise main ideas / arguments / restate thesis
•    Do not introduce any new ideas/ facts
•    Final comment    

For your essay you will identify ONE (1) sustainability issue, identify the impacts it has on an individual and a community level, and propose evidence-based solutions to that issue. Evidence- based solutions refers to solutions that are supported by the scientific literature and reported in peer reviewed sources, such as academic journals.

Example 1 – Burnout
Burnout is a growing concern for the modern world, having substantial impacts within and outside of the world of work (Schaufeli et al., 2009). Two potential solutions for burnout attack it from different angles:
(1)        Emergence of positive psychology – Positive psychology approaches have been developed to give individuals the tools necessary to reduce negative engagement and burnout. For example, self-compassion and mindfulness
(2)        Positive organisational change for employees – Some organisations have recognised the need for greater recognition of the health and well-being of their employees.

Example 2 – Gender equality
Society is gradually addressing the need for gender equality in education, health, the workplace, and other domains (Gupta et al., 2019) to improve social sustainability (Kobal Grum, & Babnik, 2022).
However, there is a growing conservative countermovement against progressive changes. Some potential ways to address gender inequalities are:
(1)    Application of progressive work practices – Flexible work arrangements, increased pressure against sexual harassment, and increased parental leave are just some of the examples of changing work practices and policies that can increase gender equality.
(2)    Equal representation in medical (and other) research – Gender equitable research, in terms of the practitioners, participants, and collaborators involved in scientific projects.

Example 3 – Action on climate change
Human caused climate change has seen an approximate 1.0 degrees Celsius increase in average global temperatures compared to pre-industrial levels (Fawzy et al., 2020). Increases in global average temperatures are likely to reach 1.5 degrees Celsius between 2030 and 2052. Climate change and increases in temperature have been linked to natural disasters and increased crime (Mares & Moffett, 2019). Eco-anxiety or climate anxiety is now experienced by many (Hickman et. al., 2021).
Some ways to address or change the current direction on climate change include:
(1)    Dietary change – Dietary choices, such as a more plant based diet, have been shown to be associated with lower greenhouse gas emissions.
(2)    Advocacy – if we personally cannot directly solve climate change, it is possible to be advocate for change, which some associations and professions actively do (e.g. AASW, APS)



Chronic workplace stress, or burnout, is a major issue in the modern workplace (Schaufeli et al., 2009). People experience emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a lower sense of accomplishment due to this sustainability challenge. The essay examines the negative effects of burnout on individuals and communities and proposes positive organisational change as an evidence-based solution.

The discussion will cover burnout, its effects, and how positive organisational change can improve work environments. The thesis proposes that positive organisational change, including supportive work culture and flexible work arrangements, can reduce burnout, improve employee well-being, and help achieve the UN's Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being by creating a sustainable, healthy, and productive workforce.

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Impact on the Individual

Stress at work can lead to burnout, a modern sustainability issue. In individuals, it causes emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a decreased sense of personal achievement (Schaufeli et al., 2009). Often, job dissatisfaction leads to serious mental and physical health issues.

Individuals must overcome burnout's gradual rise. It starts as work-related stress but becomes a chronic condition with serious consequences. People struggle with anxiety, depression, sleep disorders, and cardiovascular diseases. Burnout and mental illness often worsen each other in a vicious cycle. The physical toll increases illness susceptibility, affecting quality of life and work performance.

Burnout has dire consequences, according to research. Dyrbye et al. (2019) link burnout to higher healthcare costs, lower productivity, and absenteeism. The meta-analysis by Bayes et al. (2021) links burnout to many physical conditions, including chronic heart disease and musculoskeletal disorders. Academic evidence emphasises burnout's personal and organisational impact.

Therefore, burnout affects many aspects of personal well-being beyond work. The next segment will examine burnout's community and organisational effects, emphasising the need for comprehensive solutions. Burnout's negative effects on individuals highlight the need to address this sustainability issue to create a healthier workplace.

Impact On Broader Contexts

Burnout is deeply personal but affects professional and community life. Burnout has a domino effect that worsens sustainability from the individual to the organisation to the community.

Turnover, absenteeism, and decreased productivity result from burnout in the workplace. The decline in organisational efficacy slows growth, reduces competitiveness, and raises operational costs. Burnout also hinders innovation and employee engagement, essential for organisational success. According to Forbes, burnout costs $125 billion to $190 billion in healthcare costs annually, highlighting its economic impact (Borysenko, 2019). Disengaged employees cost employers 34% of their annual salary due to burnout.

Burnout hurts communities too. Mental and physical health decline among workers is a public health issue. Burnout-related healthcare costs and productivity losses place a financial strain on the economy. Burnout can also weaken social bonds and cohesion, which are essential for a healthy community.

Academic literature like Dyrbye et al. (2019) shows how burnout raises healthcare costs and reduces organisational effectiveness. Aboagye et al. (2019) also show that work-related stress costs society, leading to increased healthcare use and social discord.

Thus, the discussion shows how burnout affects professional and community life. We will discuss a solution to mitigate burnout, addressing its individual and broader implications.

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One Solution To The Challenge

Positive Organisational Change (POC) provides evidence-based burnout relief. This approach uses many methods to create a supportive workplace, improving organisational and individual health.

Positive Organisational Change emphasises the importance of supportive work cultures that prioritise employee well-being, engagement, and work-life balance. Promote flexible work arrangements, a culture of appreciation and recognition, and open communication between management and employees. POC also promotes resources and training to help people manage workplace stress and build resilience.

Academic literature shows that Positive Organisational Change reduces burnout. Cheong et al. (2023) found that such changes significantly reduced healthcare professional burnout. Cimini et al. (2020) also found a link between positive work environments, lower burnout, and higher job satisfaction. These studies, among others, show that POC significantly impacts individual and organisational well-being.

POC also supports the sustainable human resources management narrative, which emphasises employee well-being as a key to organisational success and sustainability. Positive Organisational Change alleviates immediate concerns and creates a healthy work environment that benefits individuals and organisations by addressing burnout's root causes.

With ample empirical evidence, Positive Organisational Change is a viable burnout solution. The next discussion will evaluate this solution, assessing its strengths, weaknesses, and overall impact on burnout, contributing to professional sustainability.

Evaluation of The Solution

Positive Organisational Change (POC) addresses burnout holistically. Its holistic approach to creating a healthy, engaged workplace is its strength.

A major strength of POC is its ability to change organisational culture. It combats burnout by promoting appreciation, flexibility, and open communication. Alblooshi et al. (2021) found that organisational changes significantly reduce burnout symptoms, especially in high-stress environments like healthcare.

However, the strategy has limitations. In rigid organisational structures or environments that value short-term productivity over employee well-being, POC may be resisted.

Additionally, POC success depends on genuine leadership commitment, which may vary across organisations. Dyrbye et al. (2019) found that authentic leadership is essential to POC's benefits, which may make its implementation difficult.

The shift to a positive organisational culture requires time, resources, and a paradigm shift, which some organisations may struggle with. POC requires ongoing effort and evaluation to ensure that changes are sustainable and reduce burnout and improve job satisfaction.

Positive Organisational Change appears to be a promising burnout solution. It addresses the multifaceted nature of burnout by treating symptoms and changing organisational culture to prevent recurrence.

Though demanding, the strategy promotes sustainable development by emphasising the link between employee well-being, organisational success, and community health. To promote a sustainable, healthy, and productive workforce, holistic burnout prevention strategies are essential.


Burnout is a current sustainability issue that harms individuals, professionals, and communities. Positive Organisational Change (POC) is an evidence-based way to reduce burnout and create a healthy, engaged workplace, according to the thesis.

The discourse presented strong empirical evidence that POC reduces burnout and improves organisational culture. To be effective, POC requires genuine commitment from organisational leadership and a paradigm shift towards long-term employee well-being for sustainable development. 

Echoing the UN's Sustainable Development Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being, the discussion stressed the importance of addressing burnout to improve organisational productivity, employee satisfaction, community health, and societal sustainability.

Thus, POC is essential for creating a sustainable, healthy, and productive workforce, which contributes to global sustainable development.

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Aboagye, E., Björklund, C., Gustafsson, K., Hagberg, J., Aronsson, G., Marklund, S., ... & Bergström, G. (2019). Exhaustion and impaired work performance in the workplace: associations with presenteeism and absenteeism. Journal of occupational and environmental medicine, 61(11), e438-e444. https://doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000001701      
Alblooshi, M., Shamsuzzaman, M., & Haridy, S. (2021). The relationship between leadership styles and organisational innovation: A systematic literature review and narrative synthesis. European Journal of Innovation Management, 24(2), 338-370. https://doi.org/10.1108/EJIM-11-2019-0339 
Bayes, A., Tavella, G., & Parker, G. (2021). The biology of burnout: Causes and consequences. The World Journal of Biological Psychiatry, 22(9), 686-698. https://doi.org/10.1080/15622975.2021.1907713 
Borysenko, K. (2019, June 3). Burnout is now an officially diagnosable condition: Here’s what you need to know about it. Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/karlynborysenko/2019/05/29/burnout-is-now-an-officially-diagnosable-condition-heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-it/#:~:text=Burnout%20costs%20between%20%24125%20billion,annual%20salary%20as%20a%20result . 
Cheong, K. C., Lo, M. C., Mohamad, A. A., & Ramayah, T. (2023). Planned organisational change and organisational commitment-to-change: the moderating role of leader-member exchange. International Journal of Services and Operations Management, 44(2), 196-213. https://doi.org/10.1504/IJSOM.2023.129044 
Cimini, C., Boffelli, A., Lagorio, A., Kalchschmidt, M., & Pinto, R. (2020). How do industry 4.0 technologies influence organisational change? An empirical analysis of Italian SMEs. Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, 32(3), 695-721. https://doi.org/10.1108/JMTM-04-2019-0135 
Dyrbye, L. N., Shanafelt, T. D., Johnson, P. O., Johnson, L. A., Satele, D., & West, C. P. (2019). A cross-sectional study exploring the relationship between burnout, absenteeism, and job performance among American nurses. BMC nursing, 18(1), 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12912-019-0382-7 
Romito, B. T., Okoro, E. N., Ringqvist, J. R., & Goff, K. L. (2021). Burnout and wellness: the anesthesiologist’s perspective. American journal of lifestyle medicine, 15(2), 118-125. https://doi.org/10.1177/1559827620911645 
Schaufeli, W. B., Leiter, M. P., & Maslach, C. (2009). Burnout: 35 years of research and practice. Career development international, 14(3), 204-220. https://doi.org/10.1108/13620430910966406 

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