Burnout and Engagement: Relative Importance of Predictors and Outcomes in Two Health Care Worker Samples

Workplace Health Saf. 2016 Oct;64(10):479-487. doi: 10.1177/2165079916653414. Epub 2016 Jul 9.


This study's purpose was twofold: first, to examine the relative importance of job demands and resources as predictors of burnout and engagement, and second, the relative importance of engagement and burnout related to health, depressive symptoms, work ability, organizational commitment, and turnover intentions in two samples of health care workers. Nurse leaders ( n = 162) and licensed emergency medical technicians (EMTs; n = 102) completed surveys. In both samples, job demands predicted burnout more strongly than job resources, and job resources predicted engagement more strongly than job demands. Engagement held more weight than burnout for predicting commitment, and burnout held more weight for predicting health outcomes, depressive symptoms, and work ability. Results have implications for the design, evaluation, and effectiveness of workplace interventions to reduce burnout and improve engagement among health care workers. Actionable recommendations for increasing engagement and decreasing burnout in health care organizations are provided.

Keywords: best practices; burnout; employee engagement; occupational health and safety programs; program planning and evaluation; research.