Burnout among pilots: psychosocial factors related to happiness and performance at simulator training

Evangelia Demerouti (Corresponding author), Wouter Veldhuis, Claire Coombes, Rob Hunter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
108 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In this study among airline pilots, we aim to uncover the work characteristics (job demands and resources) and the outcomes (job crafting, happiness and simulator training performance) that are related to burnout for this occupational group. Using a large sample of airline pilots, we showed that 40% of the participating pilots experience high burnout. In line with Job Demands-Resources theory, job demands were detrimental for simulator training performance because they made pilots more exhausted and less able to craft their job, whereas job resources had a favourable effect because they reduced feelings of disengagement and increased job crafting. Moreover, burnout was negatively related to pilots’ happiness with life. These findings highlight the importance of psychosocial factors and health for valuable outcomes for both pilots and airlines. Practitioner Summary: Using an online survey among the members of a European pilots’ professional association, we examined the relationship between psychosocial factors (work characteristics, burnout) and outcomes (simulator training performance, happiness). Forty per cent of the participating pilots experience high burnout. Job demands were detrimental, whereas job resources were favourable for simulator training performance/happiness. Twitter text: 40% of airline pilots experience burnout and psychosocial work factors and burnout relate to performance at pilots’ simulator training.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-245
Number of pages13
JournalErgonomics
Volume62
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

Keywords

  • Burnout
  • happiness
  • job crafting
  • job demands-resources theory
  • simulator training performance

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