Burnout is usually taken to mean someone hopelessly overwhelmed by their job. There are other aspects to consider. Cynicism just is one of them. An employee suffering from burnout is unlikely to care about the job he or she is meant to perform. When an employee stops caring, they stop trying, which typically leads to ineffectiveness and inefficiency, as well as potentially demoralizing others in the workplace. Don\u2019t make the mistake of thinking that if burnout is simple to define, its causes must be equally simple to decipher. There are many causes of burnout and they often interact. And people experience burnout in various ways, partly because of the many combinations of factors involved. Causes of Burnout The well-known, classic factor leading to burnout is overwork. The employee just has too much to do, and too little time or resources. There are complicating factors for overwork. One factor is employee positions that have conflicting responsibilities. Another is positions where responsibilities are poorly defined. In either case, the employee is faced with the dilemmas. Other factors causing burnout include: \tAn unfair rewards system. \tLack of support from management. \tLack of control of resources needed to do the job. \tNo involvement in decision making. \tConflict between personal values and job values. \u00a0How to Recognize Burnout Signs of burnout are not hard to recognize. One sign is employees talking about quitting. Another is when employees withdraw from contact with other workers. Burned out employees show decreased performance. They can stop cooperating with other employees, even sabotaging other worker\u2019s efforts. Ways to Prevent Employee Burnout Despite obvious warning signs, management may not be aware of burnout, until it\u2019s too late to remedy. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Adopt practices that prevent burnout, not deal with it. \tEmployee workloads should be challenging, but don\u2019t inundate people with work. \tAssign people to tasks they can have emotional involvement with. \tHave a reasonable number of work hours per week. \tGive perks to employees that help with their personal lives, like an evening off to be with family. \tTrain employees well, and give them adequate resources for their jobs. \tManagement needs to be supportive. \tRewards and bonuses must be given fairly. \tTeach employees about burnout, including ways they can deal effectively with job stress.