The Areas of WorkLife (AWL) Survey was developed by Dr. Michael P. Leiter, a renowned psychologist and researcher, who specialized in organizational behavior and occupational health. The questionnaire was designed to evaluate various factors contributing to burnout in the workplace. Dr. Leiter’s interest in burnout and work-life balance led him to create a comprehensive tool that could help individuals and organizations.
The development of the AWL questionnaire involved extensive research and validation processes to ensure its reliability and validity. Dr. Leiter and his team conducted numerous studies to identify the critical dimensions that contribute to burnout. They reviewed existing literature on burnout, work-life balance, and related constructs, and conducted interviews and surveys with employees from different professions and backgrounds (see the original publication on ReasearchGate.net).
The questionnaire is structured to assess six key areas of an individual’s work and personal life that are known to influence burnout. It consists of several subscales, each focusing on different aspects:
- Workload: This subscale assesses the volume and intensity of work an individual faces in their job. It considers factors like job demands, time pressure, and workload distribution.
- Control: This subscale evaluates the level of autonomy and decision-making authority an individual has in their work. Employees with higher control over their tasks tend to experience lower levels of burnout.
- Reward: This subscale examines the extent to which employees feel adequately rewarded and recognized for their efforts. It considers both extrinsic rewards (e.g., salary, benefits) and intrinsic rewards (e.g., sense of accomplishment).
- Community: This subscale focuses on the quality of relationships and social support within the workplace. A strong sense of community and positive coworker relationships can act as protective factors against burnout.
- Fairness: This subscale measures perceptions of fairness and justice within the organization. Employees who perceive fair treatment are more likely to experience lower burnout levels.
- Values: This subscale assesses the alignment between an individual’s personal values and the values promoted by the organization. When employees find their work meaningful and in line with their beliefs, burnout risk may decrease.
Use for organizations
The main purpose of the AWL questionnaire is to provide a systematic and reliable way of assessing the specific aspects of work and personal life that might be contributing to burnout. By understanding these factors, organizations can implement targeted interventions to promote employee well-being and reduce burnout, ultimately improving productivity and retention. The AWL questionnaire is designed to be applicable across various industries and work settings, making it a versatile tool for researchers, HR professionals, and managers.
The test frequently used along the AWL Questionnaire, Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), was developed by Dr. Christina Maslach to test the level of burnout in individuals and organizations. You can take the test here: https://supportbymonika.com/assessments/mbi/.