Burnout and Engagement in The South African Context

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 1138 |

Pages: 3|

6 min read

Published: Jul 15, 2020

Words: 1138|Pages: 3|6 min read

Published: Jul 15, 2020

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Conceptualising stress and wellbeing
    Job demands-resource model
  3. Research
  4. Conclusion


This document aims to address disease prevention and health promotion in the South African context. First, burnout and engagement will be conceptualised. Second, these two concepts will be compared and contrasted based on components, Job demands-resource mode, research and last, the South African perspective will be provided.

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Conceptualising stress and wellbeing

To start, the author of this document will first conceptualise the terms that will be used. Stress is defined as the stimulus or cause, the process and the outcome or result. To further elaborate, the stimulus or cause is the pressure we experience, for example the pressure to pass exams. The process is how the pressure is turned to reality, for example thinking it’s impossible to pass the exams. Lastly, the outcome, it’s how stress impacts our daily lives. For example, feeling nervous. In addition, Sutton (2015) defines burnout as emotional exhaustion, cynical attitude towards clients and dissatisfaction with oneself and one’s work efforts. On the other hand, wellbeing is defined as “summative concept that characterises the quality of working lives”. The strengths/weaknesses of a disease prevention approach in some countries, some disease prevention and control activities are sustained through vertical diseases prevention and control programmes using passionate staff to provide services. This approach enables management and training but it’s quite costly and problematic to sustain and reduces community involvement. Additionally, the strengths/weaknesses of health promotion approach is the Workplace health promotion (WHP), it addressed the individual risks and organisational issues, and it further addresses the lifestyle, workplace hazards, work organisation and early detection of disease. Emphasizing hygiene in the work place programmes, biological monitoring and medical surveillance should be carried out to decrease the likelihood of risks. In order to compare and contrast stress and wellbeing, the author will look at three criteria. These are 1) components; 2) job demand-resource model; and 3) research.


Burnout consists of high exhaustion and cynicism combined with low professional efficacy. Exhaustion is feelings of being over-extended and drained, cynicism is indifference and a distant attitude to work, lastly Professional efficacy is how effective the person feels in their job. People suffering from burnout have reached the point of exhaustion and can no longer cope with the work loaf required for their job. While burnout results from negative stress, positive stress can result in work engagement, defined as positive, fulfilling work-related state of mind. Compared to burnout, wellbeing also has 3 components that further explains it. It consists of Vigour, dedication and absorption. Vigour is the opposite of absorption, it explains when a person has extreme levels of energy, even though experienced with difficulties in the work place but still pulls through. Also, dedication is the opposite of cynicism, it consists of a sense of pride in one’s work and enthusiasm, and also feeling a sense of inspiration in it. But unlike professional efficacy, absorption is about being fully focused and attached on your work while enjoying it and being happy.

Job demands-resource model

This theory states that states that increased job demand can lead to increased levels of stress when job resources are lacking. Burn outs in this model are job demands and wellbeing’s are job resources. Job demands they are things that challenge us to work while job resources they help us to deal with challenges.


Research states that the happiness is vital for the employees, not only for them to be productive effectively, but because there are many unhappy workers. Subjective wellbeing is an important indicator of the wellbeing of the people. Wellbeing could be considered in terms of the diverse roles, such as marriage, work, family and housing. Work represents an important context for studying thee wellbeing of individuals, especially because it provides income that has a positive impact on the life roles and because it requires the individual’s time and energy. The different components of work related wellbeing could be related, but could be separate dimensions, for example, it is possible to experience low work related depression (e. g. disengagement) but extreme levels of work related of anxiety. Strain is made up of two or more negative forms of wellbeing such as anxiety and depression. Regarding the relationship between work stress and work engagement, research has revealed that even though a person can be faced with extreme job deadlines, long Working hours, some people do not show any symptoms of disagreementSouth African perspective. Stress is defined as any event that is overwhelming, threatening or demanding and usually blows into the ability of a person to cope. Stress consists of the fight or flight mode. A person has the ability to face the threatening circumstances (fight) or can choose to ignore it (flight). Thabane (2015), further explains that people in the work place are suffering from stress and if the organisation does not assist the employees in dealing with it, the stress levels may be extreme. The organisations should start anything to enhance the wellbeing of the employees. They should and not only focus on the profits and job demands but rather than focus on the employees quality of life which will result in empowered concentrations in the workplace. The following are likely to cause stress in the work place; time pressure and deadlines, poor internal communication, lack of support, poor senior management, too many meetings and office politics. Work-related stress, depression, burnout and anxiety disorders are costing South Africa’s economy approximately R40. 6 billion a year, equivalent to 2. 2% of GDP. It is argued that companies should heave a healthy educational environment with pro-active mental health awareness programmes, stress management training, ability of the employees to have contact with services that will help nurture help-seeking behaviour, implement counselling and identify people who are in need of help and offer them services that will ensure that they receive proper treatment.

Mental illness is a health problem that significantly affects how a person thinks, behaves feels and interacts with other people. It is diagnosed according to standardised criteria. According to Corrigan (2004), structural stigma is a process. The process involves (a) the recognition of cues that a personhas a mental illness, (b) activation of stereotypes, and (c) prejudice or discrimination against that person.

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This essay explains that stress is the pressures that people experience. Stress goes with burnout, which is the dissatisfaction that people experience regarding to work. Under components, burn out has 3 components that explain the negative effects that it has. It explains the feelings of being drained, the distant attitude that people have and how does people feel in their jobs. In contrast to burnout, there’s wellbeing, which occurs with positive stress, it also has 3 components that explains the high levels of energy workers have, pride in your work and concentration. The job demand model explains that increased demand leads to increased levels of stress. The South African perspective explain the impact of the South Africans in wellbeing and burnout.

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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Oliver Johnson

Cite this Essay

Burnout and Engagement in the South African Context. (2020, July 14). GradesFixer. Retrieved November 29, 2023, from
“Burnout and Engagement in the South African Context.” GradesFixer, 14 Jul. 2020,
Burnout and Engagement in the South African Context. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 29 Nov. 2023].
Burnout and Engagement in the South African Context [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2020 Jul 14 [cited 2023 Nov 29]. Available from:
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