Occupational Stress, Symptoms of Burnout in the Workplace and Work Satisfaction of the Age-diverse Employees

Open access


Background and Purpose: Age diverse employees are faced with different types of occupational stress and different symptoms of burnout when carrying out their work. Therefore, the role of age in job design and implementation of work should not be ignored. The main aim of this paper is to investigate the age differences of occupational stress and symptoms of burnout of employees and to analyze the impact of occupational stress, symptoms of burnout and age on employees’ work satisfaction.

Methodology: The paper is based on research that includes a survey of employees in two age groups: younger employees under 50 years of age and older employees between 50 to 65 years of age. Factor analysis was used to form the constructs of occupational stress, symptoms of burnout and employees’ work satisfaction. The non-parametric Mann-Whitney U test was used to test differences in the obtained constructs of occupational stress and symptoms of burnout in the workplace between two independent groups. The multiple regression analysis was used to examine the impact of occupational stress, symptoms of burnout and age on employees’ work satisfaction.

Results: The results show there are statistically significant differences in occupational stress and symptoms of burnout in the workplace between older and younger employees. On average, younger employees perceived higher levels of occupational stress and burnout as compared to the older group. Research results also show that occupational stress, behavioral symptoms and emotional symptoms of burnout, as well as age, have a significant impact on employees’ work satisfaction.

Conclusion: Managing diversity requires a strategic approach to managing people at work. Therefore, this research adds to the body of knowledge by pointing out the relationship between age and occupational stress and burnout symptoms. Because the role of age in job design has largely been ignored, these relationships have not been studied enough.

If the inline PDF is not rendering correctly, you can download the PDF file here.

  • Adams G. A. DeArmond S. Jex S. M. Webster J. R. (2013). Older Workers Occupational Stress and Safety. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/278847873_OLDER_WORKERS_OCCUPATIONAL_STRESS_AND_SAFETY (Accessed 7.1.2019).

  • Ahola K. Honkonen T. Virtanen M. Aromaa A. Lönnqvist J. (2008).Burnout in Relation to Age in the Adult Working Population. Journal of Occupational Health 50 (4) 362-365 http://doi.org/10.1539/joh.M8002

  • Campanelli L. (1990). The Ageing Workforce: Implications for Organisations Department of Health and Fitness. American University 5 (4) 817-826.

  • Darmody M. Smyth E. (2016). Primary school principals job satisfaction and occupational stress. International Journal of Educational Management 30 (1) 115-128 https://doi.org/10.1108/IJEM-12-2014-0162

  • De Silva N. Samanmali R. De Silva H. L. (2017). Managing occupational stress of professionals in large construction projects. Journal of EngineeringDesign and Technology 15 (4) 488-504 http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/JEDT-09-2016-0066

  • Fairbrother K. Warn J. (2003). Workplace dimensions stress and job satisfaction. Journal of Managerial Psychology 18 (1) 8-21 https://doi.org/10.1108/02683940310459565

  • Faragher E. B Cass M. Cooper C. L. (2005). The relationship between job satisfaction and health: a meta-analysis. Occupational and Environmental Medicine 62 (2) 105-112 http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/oem.2002.006734

  • George E. Zakkariya K. A. (2015). Job related stress and job satisfaction: a comparative study among bank employees. Journal of Management Development 34 (3) 316-329 https://doi.org/10.1108/JMD-07-2013-0097

  • Götz S. Hoven H. Müller A. Dragano N. Wahrendorf M. (2018). Age differences in the association between stressful work and sickness absence among full-time employed workers: evidence from the German socio-economic panel. International Archives of Occupational and Environmental Health 91 479–496 http://doi.org/10.1007/s00420-018-1298-3

  • Haley L. M. Mostert K. Els C. (2013). Burnout and Work Engagement for Different Age Groups: Examining Group-Level Differences and Predictors. Journal of Psychology in Africa 23 (2) 283-296 http://doi.org/10.1080/14330237.2013.10820625

  • Halkos G. Bousinakis D. (2010). The Effect of Stress and Satisfaction on Productivity. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management 59 (5) 415-431 https://doi.org/10.1108/17410401011052869

  • Harrison D. A. Newman D.A. Roth P.L. (2006). How important are job attitudes? Meta-analytic comparisons of integrative behavioral outcomes and time sequences. Academy of Management Journal 49 (2) pp. 305-326 https://doi.org/10.5465/AMJ.2006.20786077

  • Henkens K. Leenders M. (2010). Burnout and older workers' intentions to retire. International Journal of Manpower 31 (3) 306-321 https://doi.org/10.1108/01437721011050594

  • Hertel G. Béatrice I.J.M.H Lange A. H. Deller J. (2013). Facilitating age diversity in organizations – part II: managing perceptions and interactions. Journal of Managerial Psychology 28 (7/8) 857-866.

  • Hertel G. Thielgen M. Rauschenbach C. Grube A. Stamov-Roßnagel C. Krumm S. (2013). Age Differences in Motivation and Stress at Work. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/256677456_Age_Differences_in_Motivation_and_Stress_at_Work (Accessed 8.1.2019)

  • Hespanhol A. (2004). Burnout e stress ocupacional. Revista Portuguesa de Psicossomática 7 (1) 153-162.

  • Garg P. Rastogi R. (2006). New model of job design: Motivating employees' performance. Journal of Management Development 25(6) 572-587 http://doi.org/10.1108/02621710610670137

  • Hoyle R. (2017). Learning strategies for a changing workforce. Strategic HR Review 16 (6) 255-260 https://doi.org/10.1108/SHR-08-2017-0052

  • Ilmarinen J. (2006). Towards a longer worklife! Ageing and the quality of worklife in the European Union« Finnish Institute of Occupational Health. Retrieved from www.sopol.at/document/download/towards-a-longer-worklife (Accessed 13.10.2018)

  • Jolynn C. Becky K. Rhett K. Chad A. (2011). Getting to grips with stress in the workplace: Strategies for promoting a healthier more productive environment. Human Resource Management International Digest 19 (4) 32-38 https://doi.org/10.1108/09670731111140748

  • Judge T. A. Thoresen C. J. Bono J. E. Patton G.K. (2001). The job satisfaction-job performance relationship: a qualitative and quantitative review. Psychological Bulletin 127 (3) 376-407.

  • Kang M. G. Koh S. B. Cha B. S. Park J. K. Baik S. K. Chang S. J. (2005). Job stress and cardiovascular risk factors in male workers. Preventive Medicine 40 (5) 583-588 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2004.07.018

  • Lu A. C. C. Gursoy D. (2013). Impact of Job Burnout on Satisfaction and Turnover Intention: Do Generational Differences Matter? Journal of Hospitality & Tourism Research 40 (2) 1-26 https://doi.org/10.1177/1096348013495696

  • Malik O. F. Waheed A. Malik K. U. R. (2010). The mediating effects of job satisfaction on role stressors and affective commitment. International Journal of Business and Management 5 (11) 223-235.

  • Maslach C. Schaufeli W. B. Leiter M. P. (2001). Job burnout. Annual Review of Psychology 52 397-422 doi: https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.52.1.397

  • Morgeson F. P. Humphrey S. E. (2006). The Work Design Questionnaire (WDQ): Developing and Validating a Comprehensive Measure for Assessing Job Design and the Nature of Work. Journal of Applied Psychology 91 (6) 1321-1339 https://doi.org/10.1037/0021-9010.91.6.1321

  • Mosadeghrad A.M. (2014). Occupational Stress and its Consequences: Implications for Health Policy and Management. Leadership in Health Services 27 (3) 224-239 https://doi.org/10.1108/LHS-07-2013-0032

  • O’Connor B. White B. Bundred D. (2000). Theeffect of jobstrainon British general practitioners’ mental health. Journal of Mental Health 9 (6) 637-654.

  • OECD. (2015). Slovenia Policy Brief: Employment. Retrieved from https://www.oecd.org/policy-briefs/slovenia-active-labour-market-policies-to-fight-unemployment.pdf (Accessed 28.10.2018)

  • Parkes H. L. (2002). Human health and management. London: Macmillan Press Ltd.

  • Robertson I. T Cooper C. L. (2010). Full engagement: the integration of employee engagement and psychological well-being. Leadership & Organization Development Journal 31 (4) 324-336 https://doi.org/10.1108/01437731011043348

  • Schaufeli W. Enzmann D. (1998). The Burnout Companion to Study & Practice: A Critical Analysis. London: Taylor & Francis.

  • Schneid M. Isidor R. Steinmetz H. Kabst R. (2016). Age diversity and team outcomes: a quantitative review. Journal of Managerial Psychology 31 (1) 2-17 https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-07-2012-0228

  • Sheather S. (2009). A modern approach to regression with R. New York NY: Springer

  • Tansel A. Gazîoğlu S. (2014). Management-employee relations firm size and job satisfaction. International Journal of Manpower 35 (8) 1260-1275 https://doi.org/10.1108/IJM-09-2014-0179

  • Truxillo D. M. Cadiz D. M. Rineer J. R. Zaniboni S. Fraccaroli F. (2012). A Lifespan Perspective on Job Design: Fitting the Worker to the Job to Promote Job Satisfaction Engagement and Performance. Organizational Psychology Review 2 (4) 340-360 https://doi.org/10.1177/2041386612454043

  • VeromaaV KautiainenH. KorhonenP. E. (2017). Physical and mental health factors associated with work engagement among Finnish female municipal employees: a cross-sectional study. BMJ open 7 (10) 1-8 http://doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2017-017303

  • Wang M. & Shultz K. S. (2010). Employee retirement: A review and recommendations for future investigation. Journal of Management 36 (1) 172-206 https://doi.org/10.1177/0149206309347957

  • Yang H. Ju Y. Lee Y. (2016). Effects of job stress on self-esteem job satisfaction and turn over intention. Journal of Transnational Management 21 (1) 29-39 https://doi.org/10.1080/15475778.2016.1120613

  • Yavas U. Babakus E. Karatepe O.M. (2013). Does hope moderate the impact of job burnout on frontline bank employees in-role and extra-role performances? International Journal of Bank Marketing 31 (1) 56-70 https://doi.org/10.1108/02652321311292056

  • Zaniboni S. Truxillo D. M. Fraccaroli F. McCune E. A. Bertolino M. (2014). Who Benefits from More Tasks? Older Versus Younger Workers. Managerial Psychology 29 (5) 523-508 https://doi.org/10.1108/JMP-12-2012-0381

Journal information
Impact Factor

CiteScore 2018: 0.87

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2018: 0.179
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2018: 0.529

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 0 0 0
Full Text Views 618 617 67
PDF Downloads 533 533 86