Category Archives: Furloughs/Layoffs/Turnover

What You’re Getting Wrong About Burnout

Source: Liz Fosslien, MIT Sloan Management Review, August 26, 2021
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The burnout crisis is here, but many managers are failing to address the root causes of stress for employees.

…As an expert on emotions at work and head of content at Humu, a company focused on workplace behavioral change, I help leaders and managers improve well-being within their teams. Over the past year, burnout has become a top concern within organizations, and for good reason. In 2020, 71% of employees experienced burnout at least once. Across Humu’s enterprise customers, 62% of employees have reported feeling overwhelmed by work responsibilities, and 32% have said they are emotionally drained. And research from Qualtrics shows that stress and burnout are the main reasons people are thinking of leaving their jobs in the coming months and year — a time economists have already dubbed “The Great Resignation.”

In response, many leaders have started offering additional vacation time, established “no meeting” blocks on the calendar to give employees a break from back-to-back video calls, and encouraged people to take breaks throughout the day.

These are all helpful measures, but on their own, they’re usually not enough to turn things around for exhausted employees. That’s because work overload is only one cause of burnout. Too often, organizations fail to acknowledge — let alone address — other dimensions. The Maslach Burnout Inventory, the first clinically based measure of burnout, also measures cynicism and feeling ineffective at your job. And our research at Humu shows that lacking a sense of meaning and not receiving the emotional support you need to thrive are also strongly related to feeling stretched too thin….

Abusive Supervision and Employee Empowerment: The Moderating Role of Resilience and Workplace Friendship

Source: Ayesha Arshad, Peter Y. T. Sun, Fabrice Desmarais, Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies, March 30, 2021
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Several studies have explored why employees leave their organization in the face of abusive supervision. However, there is a lack of research on what makes employees continue with employment despite being affected by abusive supervision. This study responds to the calls made to analyze multiple mechanisms that employees use to cope with abusive supervision. It addresses this gap by examining employees’ psychological and social resources that can mitigate the effects of abusive supervision. We specifically consider employee psychological and structural empowerment, as well as resilience and workplace friendship. This is a time-lagged study using a sample of 146 postgraduate students who have a minimum of 2 years of work experience. Utilizing the tenets of conservation of resources theory, we find that damage to psychological empowerment plays a significant role in diminishing the work engagement and creativity of employees, as compared to structural empowerment. We also find that workplace friendship plays a significant role in weakening the damaging effects of abusive supervision on structural empowerment. Future studies should consider other psychological and social mechanisms that can mitigate the effects of abusive supervision. Moreover, organizations should work toward developing a culture of sharing and support between coworkers.

COVID-Related Labor Arbitration Awards in the United States and Canada: A Survey and Comparative Analysis

Source: Richard A. Bales, Ohio State Journal on Dispute Resolution, Vol. 37, No. 1, 2021

From the abstract:
The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020-21 has changed working conditions for millions of Americans and Canadians quickly and dramatically. Employers responded by requiring employees to quarantine, implementing workplace COVID policies, disciplining employees who violated those policies, changing work schedules, cancelling leaves or vacations, and furloughing or laying off employees. Unions have challenged many of these actions, raising a variety of novel issues that are now being resolved through labor arbitration. This article surveys those labor arbitration awards and then comparatively analyzes the awards from Canada and the United States.

2020 Global Benefits Attitudes Survey – Highlights of key findings, United States

Source: Willis Towers Watson, February 5, 2021

Employees are seeking work flexibility, enhanced wellbeing, and greater retirement security. Discover more about their experiences during the pandemic. … In the future, almost four in 10 employees (38%) would prefer a mixed onsite/work-from-home experience. Over two-fifths (41%) desire to work onsite in the future all the time, and 21% are looking to work from home all the time. …

The Retention of Educators of Color Amidst Institutionalized Racism

Source: Ain A. Grooms, Duhita Mahatmya, Eboneé T. Johnson, Educational Policy, Vol 35, Issue 2, 2021
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From the abstract:
Representing approximately 20% of the workforce, educators of color (EOC) leave the field at a rate 25% higher than their White counterparts. Despite workforce diversification efforts, few studies investigate the psychosocial consequences of navigating racialized school climate as reasons EOC may leave the workforce. This study relies on survey data collected from educators of color (paraprofessionals through superintendents) across the state of Iowa. Applying a critical quantitative research design, we examined factors that link racialized school climate to their job satisfaction and psychological well-being. Findings indicate that a racialized school climate has a significant, direct effect on EOC’s race-based stress and professional racial self-efficacy. We argue that solely focusing on the retention of educations of color acts as a distraction from dismantling the institutionalized racism that continues to permeate our school systems.

Related:
How race-related stress could be driving educators of color away from the job
Source: Ain Grooms, The Conversation, April 13, 2021

When teachers of color experience high levels of race-based stress in schools, they can also have an increasingly negative sense of belonging, according to new research.

For the study, we analyzed survey data from educators of color across Iowa. To get at whether they were experiencing race-based stress, we asked whether the educators felt supported raising concerns with their peers about racism in schools or if they felt the need to ignore or avoid it. I conducted this research along with my colleagues – education researcher Duhita Mahatmya and community and behavioral health professor Eboneé Johnson.

Teachers reported less support from colleagues than did principals. Over 75% of the teachers in our sample (175 out of 229) reported a negative sense of belonging, especially when they thought school districts would not devise policies to actively address equity and racism.

High Nursing Staff Turnover In Nursing Homes Offers Important Quality Information

Source: Ashvin Gandhi, Huizi Yu, and David C. Grabowski, Health Affairs, Vol. 40, No. 3, March 2021
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From the abstract:
Nursing staff turnover has long been considered an important indicator of nursing home quality. However, turnover has never been reported on the Nursing Home Compare website, likely because of the lack of adequate data. On July 1, 2016, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services began collecting auditable payroll-based daily staffing data for US nursing homes. We used 492 million nurse shifts from these data to calculate a novel turnover metric representing the percentage of hours of nursing staff care that turned over annually at each of 15,645 facilities. Mean and median annual turnover rates for total nursing staff were roughly 128 percent and 94 percent, respectively. Turnover rates were correlated with facility location, for-profit status, chain ownership, Medicaid patient census, and star ratings. Disseminating facilities’ nursing staff turnover rates on Nursing Home Compare could provide important quality information for policy makers, payers, and consumers, and it may incentivize efforts to reduce turnover.

A Look At Terminations For Protest-Related Activities

Source: Laura Scott, Employment Alert, Volume 37, Issue 19, September 16, 2020
(subscription required)

…Private employers may be wondering whether and when an employee may be fired for engaging in protest-related conduct. The First Amendment protects an individual’s freedom of speech, right to assemble, and therefore the right to peacefully protest. But, it does not guarantee an employee a job.

If an employee is “at will,” an employer can technically end the employment relationship at any time for any reason. But, it’s rarely a good idea to terminate someone “just because.”

Also, depending on the applicable state law, a private employer may be barred from taking adverse employment action against an employee for conduct engaged in at a protest while off duty…..

Why unions are good for workers—especially in a crisis like COVID-19: 12 policies that would boost worker rights, safety, and wages

Source: Celine McNicholas, Lynn Rhinehart, Margaret Poydock, Heidi Shierholz, and Daniel Perez, Economic Policy Institute, August 25, 2020

From the summary:
What this report finds: The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored both the importance of unions in giving workers a collective voice in the workplace and the urgent need to reform U.S. labor laws to arrest the erosion of those rights. During the crisis, unionized workers have been able to secure enhanced safety measures, additional premium pay, paid sick time, and a say in the terms of furloughs or work-share arrangements to save jobs. These pandemic-specific benefits build on the many ways unions help workers. Following are just a few of the benefits, according to the latest data:

• Unionized workers (workers covered by a union contract) earn on average 11.2% more in wages than nonunionized peers (workers in the same industry and occupation with similar education and experience).
• Black and Hispanic workers get a larger boost from unionization. Black workers represented by a union are paid 13.7% more than their nonunionized peers. Hispanic workers represented by unions are paid 20.1% more than their nonunionized peers.

Promotion: An Intractable Management Problem for Academic and Public Libraries

Source: Robert P. Holley, Journal of Library Administration, Vol. 60 no. 5, 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The lack of opportunities for promotion within libraries may be an important reason for job dissatisfaction and lowered morale. This column examines reasons why librarians wish to be promoted, the two paths for promotion, a short history of promotion since 1945, how promotions occur, why promotion is a challenge for management, and some suggestions to alleviate the problem. The corporate promotion model requires moving into a position with increased responsibilities and is often the only model in public libraries. The academic promotion model also offers the possibility of promotion for increased performance of the same duties, usually according to more formal rules. A blocked path for promotion can lead to leaving the library for opportunities elsewhere or create morale problems. Library managers can take some steps to increase promotion opportunities and sustain morale. The concluding section briefly argues the opposing viewpoint that the current state of promotion may benefit the profession as a whole if not some individual librarians.

Academic Librarian Burnout: A Survey Using the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI)

Source: Barbara A. Wood, Ana B. Guimaraes, Christina E. Holm, Sherrill W. Hayes & Kyle R. Brooks, Journal of Library Administration, Vol. 60 no. 5, 2020
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
In the Spring of 2018, the authors administered the highly validated and reliable Copenhagen Burnout Inventory work-related sub-scale to 1,628 academic librarians employed within the United States. Academic librarians reported a total work-related burnout score of 49.6. Overall, female participants who were 35–44 years of age reported the highest levels of work-related burnout with males and older individuals reporting the lowest levels of work-related burnout. This study also revealed some interesting information about non-binary/third-gender librarians that suggests further research is warranted.