Mismatch Brain and Job Raises Burnout Concerns Among Young Professionals

21 Sep, 2023 •

Mismatch Brain and Job Raises Burnout Concerns Among Young Professionals

How Matching Cognition and Work Can Reduce Job-related Burnout Risk

Job-related burnout has become more than a buzzword in the professional world and for a good reason. Besides affecting someone’s mental health it touches both productivity and overall job satisfaction considerably. And it’s not limited to a few demographic groups. Among the groups most susceptible to burnout are young professionals, particularly women. As the number of job-related burnout cases continues to rise, it’s crucial to explore effective prevention strategies. In this blog, we take you along on the cause of job-related burnouts and also on one promising approach to prevent burnouts:  the alignment of cognitive abilities with job roles.

The Job-Related Burnout Epidemic Among Young Professionals

‘Burnout’ as an occupational phenomenon has been a problem for a long time. Sadly, it is still growing. A recent NOS article sheds light on the alarming increase in job-related burnout cases. The competitive nature of the modern labor market, long working hours, and the pressure to constantly excel can take a toll on the mental well-being of these individuals. It is not limited to a specific industry or job role, making it an issue that demands attention across the board. HR departments don’t deny it, while at the same time struggling to solve the problem.

The Role of Cognitive Abilities in Job-related Burnout

‘Not able to meet the requirements’, refers to both supply and demand. When out of balance, this probably causes trouble for both employees and employers. To address the work floor epidemic effectively, we must consider the role of cognitive abilities in job roles. Every individual possesses a unique set of cognitive skills, including problem-solving, creativity, attention to detail, and more. When these skills align with the demands of a job, employees are more likely to experience job satisfaction and lower levels of stress and burnout. Balancing brains and jobs should be key in designing teams and workforces. 

The Power of Cognitive Fit: 3 Goals

One of the terms used for this balance is ‘cognitive fit’. When there is a strong alignment between cognitive supply and demand, employees are more likely to thrive in their roles. On the contrary, a significant mismatch can lead to stress, frustration, and ultimately job-related burnout.

Here’s how matching cognitive abilities and job roles can make a difference:

  1. Enhanced Job Satisfaction: When employees are in roles that match their cognitive abilities, they are more likely to enjoy their work. They feel a sense of accomplishment and engagement, which are key factors in preventing burnout.
  2. Improved Performance: Employees who are well-suited to their job roles tend to perform better. Their natural cognitive strengths enable them to excel in their tasks, leading to better results for both the individual and the organization.
  3. Reduced Stress Levels: A mismatch between cognitive abilities and job demands can lead to chronic stress. By ensuring a better fit, organizations can reduce stress levels among their employees, promoting mental well-being.

Implementing Cognitive Matching in the Workplace 

To address the rising job-related burnout concerns among young professionals, organizations should consider the following steps:

  • Assess Cognitive Skills: Implement assessments or tools that help identify the cognitive abilities of employees. Understanding these strengths and weaknesses is essential for making informed talent-matching decisions.
  • Redefine Job Roles: Evaluate and, if necessary, redefine job roles based on cognitive demands. This might involve reshuffling responsibilities or creating new positions to better suit employees’ cognitive abilities.
  • Promote Flexibility: Allow for flexibility in job assignments. Sometimes, employees may possess a range of cognitive abilities, and offering them opportunities to explore various tasks can enhance job satisfaction.
  • Provide Training and Support: Offer training and support to help employees develop their cognitive skills. This can include workshops, career programs, or access to online resources.

To all HR Leaders of Today: What Now?

HR is looking for clear evidence-based approaches to tackle the worrying rise of job-related burnouts. Science is backing the pursuit of a company-wide brain-job-balance. According to a Harvard Business Review, matching cognitive abilities to job roles is a promising strategy that can lead to improved job satisfaction, better performance, and reduced stress levels among young professionals.

By acknowledging the importance of cognitive fit in the workplace, organizations can create a healthier and more productive environment for their employees, ultimately contributing to the well-being of their workforce and the success of their business.

The job-related burnout epidemic is a significant challenge, but with the right strategies in place, we can work towards a future where young professionals can thrive in their careers without sacrificing their mental health. BrainsFirst helps organizations in various industries to redesign jobs, roles, and skills. With tangible results in terms of job engagement, employee well-being, productivity, and quality of hire.

Want to know more about how to effectively prevent job-related burnout? Get in touch with our cognitive fit experts to discover how our cognitive assessments can assist you in identifying essential skills and matching talents who will actively contribute to your company’s goals.