Personality helps determine response
First in a two-part series on job burnout
In 2006, Kim sent surveys to Subway restaurant employees ages 16-57 throughout the Northwest. In addition to the Big Five personality test, her survey included questions to measure burnout (exhaustion, cynicism and lack of professional efficacy) and engagement (vigor, dedication and job absorption.)
Kim believes this is the first study to examine the importance of conscientiousness in an engagement study.
Kim also studied another variable leading to burnout, called “emotional labor.” In the hospitality and service sector, employees are expected to put on a happy face for their customers in accordance with “feeling rules” or “display rules.”
Impacts on business
Kim’s findings may have an impact on the personality tests that service organizations routinely use when choosing compatible employees.
In terms of burnout, Kim also acknowledged that the overall organizational structure of a business plays a role.