What is “misalignment burnout”, this discomfort that affects employees who do not recognize themselves in their work ?

What is “misalignment burnout”, this discomfort that affects employees who do not recognize themselves in their work ?

Le travailleur qui souffre de “burn-out de désalignement” peine à s’impliquer dans ses tâches professionnelles et se désengage progressivement de son travail. Bojan89/Getty Images

The Covid crisis acted as a revelation, pushing millions of workers to question their work and their professional expectations. A large number of them feel increasingly uncomfortable with the idea of ​​working for a company that does not share their values, which can lead them to burn out. misalignment".

The notion of "misalignment burnout" was conceptualized by Mark Travers, an American psychologist who co-founded the telemedicine platform Awake Therapy. It refers to physical, emotional and mental exhaustion that results from prolonged investment in a job that is at odds with our personal beliefs.

Thus, an employee with a strong ecological conscience may feel a strong conflict of values ​​if he works for a company little involved in the fight against global warming.

This psychological discomfort can plunge workers into a downward spiral from which it is difficult to escape. The clues that may suggest misalignment burnout are similar to those of professional burnout syndrome, whether on a physical, emotional or cognitive level.

The worker who suffers from it struggles to be fully involved in his professional tasks and gradually disengages from his work. Feeling in an inextricable situation, he may feel resentment – or even hostility – towards the people he meets in his work. In the most extreme cases, he may have to end his career.

An ever-increasing quest for meaning

Misalignment burnout affects the very idea of ​​meaning at work. Studies and opinion polls converge to say that employees attach importance to working for a company that shares their values, especially the youngest. The latter are not ready to compromise on their ecological and environmental ideals to enter the job market.

Thus, 57% of 18-30 year-olds questioned as part of a survey by For a collective awakening and Toluna Harris Interactive would be ready to resign if they believe that the company which employs them is not ;rsquo;is not investing enough in the fight against climate change.

This increasingly intense quest for meaning can be explained, in part, by our relationship to time. The contemporary individual lives in the present moment and struggles to project himself into the future: he is more motivated by the prospect of pursuing a profession that interests him and suits him on a personal level and ethics, than that of having a career.

This need for accomplishment can lead to a phenomenon of "job hopping", if the coveted job turns out to be disappointing. Thus, two thirds of members of Generation Z surveyed as part of a survey by the British firm Resource Solutions plan to leave their current employer in the next two years.

In this context, companies have every interest in thinking more about the social, societal and environmental impacts of their activities if they wish to strengthen the motivation of their employees and prevent misalignment burn-out. They must clarify their reason for being so as not to leave room for vagueness, and above all to prevent their employees from feeling trapped in a job that is at odds with their deep values.

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