Pareto’s principle and burnout

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Judy Klipin | Master Life Coach | Judy Klipin Coachingmail me |


Burnout affects both individuals and organisations and is a service delivery and efficiency and effectiveness crisis waiting to happen.

While Pareto’s Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule or ‘the law of the vital few’, does not necessarily have a 80/20 ratio (but let’s carry on using the ratio for ease of communication), it is well observed that most results are generated by a minority of the action (and actors):

  • 80% of crimes are committed by 20% of offenders
  • 80% of sales come from 20% of clients
  • 80% of results come from 20% of the effort
  • 80% of output is generated by 20% of input

And, in many organisations, 80% of the work is done by 20% of the workforce.

What this means is that a competent and committed minority of employees are compensating for the less competent and committed majority – in both the private and the public sectors.

If an average of 20% of employees are doing 80% of the work, is it any wonder that service delivery is compromised? And, is it any wonder that the 20% that are manfully trying their best to do their best and put the people they serve first are either on the brink of or well into Burnout?

It isn’t just the physical and emotional welfare of people that are affected by Burnout; the welfare of businesses, governments and NGOs are severely compromised. Just as unattended-to Burnout in people can progress into dangerous diseases like diabetes, strokes, heart attacks and depression, it can progress into inefficiency, ineffectiveness and poor or non-existent service delivery in companies. In both personal and professional instances, a complete collapse or breakdown is often the only thing that makes people sit up and take notice. And by that time, it is often sadly too late to


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Read this article by Judy Klipin, Master Life Coach, Judy Klipin Coaching, as well as a host of other topical management articles written by professionals, consultants and academics in the April/May 2019 edition of BusinessBrief.


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