professional burnout; leadership; organizational climate; recovery experiences; psychological well-being; psychological wellness; transformational leadership; conservation of resource theory; employee productivity


Leadership | Leadership Studies | Organizational Behavior and Theory | Organization Development | Performance Management


Burnout is a complex organizational phenomenon that diminishes employee well-being and overall organizational productivity. Researchers propose that leadership style contributes to employees’ well-being, which impacts employee productivity. Organizations and leaders must address the causes of burnout and promote techniques employees can use to mitigate burnout, such as employee participation in recovery experiences. Recovery experiences are non-work activities that create positive outlooks and restore the energy needed to focus on one’s work.

This literature review examines current research in employee recovery experiences, conservation of resource theory (COR), burnout, and transformational leadership theory. Studying burnout through the lens of COR shows how important resource gain and recovery activities are to healthy employees and their job performance within the organization. The research reviewed suggests that transformational and transactional leadership styles have higher probabilities of promoting employee participation in recovery experiences than passive avoidant leadership style. The literature consistently showed burnout as a significant organizational phenomenon negatively affecting productivity, employee well-being, and turnover rates. The literature revealed that mitigating burnout happens through participation in recovery experiences. The literature on leadership styles supports the assumption that leaders play a significant role in employee well-being, group identity, and organizational climate. Leaders who desire to mitigate employee burnout will benefit from research that links transformational leadership style behaviors and employee participation in recovery activities.