Examining Mentors as Buffers of Burnout for Employees High in Neuroticism
Author ORCID Identifier
Human Resource Development Quarterly
Human resource development (HRD) practitioners often implement mentoring programs for the purpose of fostering employee career growth and satisfaction. This study examines a less widely researched function of mentoring—to mitigate employee burnout. Specifically, this study examines mentoring as a buffer of relations between employee neuroticism and burnout symptoms. We also examined the differential effect of mentoring functions (i.e., psychosocial support and career-related support) on relations between neuroticism and burnout dimensions (i.e., emotional exhaustion and cognitive weariness). Survey data were collected from 325 employees from a diverse set of occupations. Self-report measures assessed trait neuroticism, burnout, the presence of mentoring (formal or informal), and the nature of support received from mentors (i.e., psychosocial and career-related support). Psychosocial support and career-related support were negatively associated with burnout. Moderation analyses found weaker relationships between neuroticism and burnout for individuals who received mentoring. Furthermore, psychosocial and career-related support delivered by mentors differentially mitigated emotional exhaustion and cognitive weariness, respectively. Exploratory analyses found that among individuals who had a formal mentor, self-reported levels of neuroticism no longer predicted burnout. Overall, findings suggest that both psychosocial and career-related support provided by mentors may help decrease levels of burnout. Furthermore, HRD practitioners may implement mentoring programs not only as a career-enhancing tool but also as an intervention to improve employee well-being and help employees who might be particularly prone to burnout (i.e., those high in neuroticism).
burnout, career-related support, employee well-being, mentoring, neuroticism, psychosocial support
Varghese, Lebena S.; Rogers, Arielle P.; Finkelstein, Lisa; and Barber, Larissa K., "Examining Mentors as Buffers of Burnout for Employees High in Neuroticism" (2020). NIU Bibliography. 368.
Department of Psychology