Presentation on theme: "Addressing RA Retention and Burnout"— Presentation transcript:
1 Addressing RA Retention and Burnout Jonathan BuchnerPatrick HermanAndrew JohnsonNWACUHOFebruary 8th, 2010
2 Outline Outcomes Research and Results Burnout Defining burnoutCommon reasons for burnout and how it functionsWhat we can do as professionalsDuring trainingThroughout the yearProgrammatic impacts: hiring on the calendar yearDiscussion
3 Outcomes By the end of this presentation, we hope you will: Better understand how burnout functionsHave strategies for addressing burnoutConsider how programmatic methods and structure can impact burnoutCollaborate with each other about burnout prevention
4 Research We asked 40 northwest ACUHO affiliated schools. 20 responded. Questions:How many undergraduate RA positions do you have in your residence life program?In each of the last fives years, how many RA’s have not completed the term for which they were hired?In each of the last five years, how many RA’s have been rehired after completing at least one term?We also invited them to comment on the most common reasons for RA’s not finishing their terms.
5 Results Schools ranged from having 4 to 104 RA’s On average per year in the last 5 years:9 schools lost fewer than 5% of RA’s7 schools lost between 5% and 10% of RA’s4 schools lost greater than 10% of RA’sBurnout was mentioned as one common cause of RA’s leaving in addition to academics, conduct issues, and various lifestyles incongruent with the RA job.
6 Defining BurnoutBurnout as “the gradual loss of caring about the people with whom one works.” (Maslach in Berman, p. 10)The Maslach Burnout Inventory (Hardy, 1998, p. 499)Emotional ExhaustionDepersonalizationReduced Personal AccomplishmentBurnout prevention is through education and organizational change.
7 Why Is Burnout an Issue? Unmotivated RA’s underperform As students, we are also responsible for the welfare of our RA’s.Fully Motivated RACompetent RALack of investmentRALeavingBurnout
8 Common Reasons for Burnout Academic, social, and extra-curricular commitmentsLifestyle conflictsRole modeling, crisis management, time management, availability, interpersonal skills, fishbowlEmotional investments and codependency (Hetherington, 1988)Chronic everyday stress (Maslach in Berman, p. 11)
9 Paradigms of Burnout Perpetuation Ash’s Paradigm (Ash in Berman, p. 10)Gung-HoGuiltChronic Fatigue & DisillusionmentSelf-Defeating Behavior (Hornak, 1982)BlamingComparingMeeting expectations of othersLabelingDistorting Feedback
10 What We Can Do As Professionals Preemptively Address Burnout: Training and Self CareRecognize and Discuss Burnout Openly When It Occurs: Self Care Throughout the YearConsidering Programmatic Impact: Hiring on the Calendar Year (The Whitman Model)
11 Training and Self Care Self reflection Preemptively discuss burnout Myers-BriggsSelf-exploration workshopsPreemptively discuss burnoutRecognize personal limitationsEmpower RA’sTeach about self careSet self care goals for training and beyondTeach time managementModel self careProfessional sleep lectureGuided yoga/meditation
12 Self Care Throughout the Year Self-reflective and meaning-making opportunitiesOne on onesPersonalized LogsStaff meeting check-insLeaving the bubbleStaff retreats and mealsStaff bondingStaff healthSpontaneous interactionsCommunity ServiceAppreciationRA appreciation daysRA’s planning programs for other RA’sEncouraging RA’s to maintain support networks
13 Hiring on the Calendar Year RA selection in October-NovemberSecond-semester sophomores and juniors are hired as RA’sRA’s start after an 11 day training in January5 day opening week preparation in AugustNew RD’s are hired for the academic year to start in August
14 Advantages to the Calendar Year Impact on burnoutRA’s get a 3 month summer breakNew residents for returning staffOther benefitsAcclimated residents for new staffOverlapping RA/RD scheduleEasier transition if an RA leaves between semestersOther opportunities (Greek, SA, study abroad)
15 Disadvantages to the Calendar Year Impact on burnoutIntegrating RA’s into established communitiesDiffering expectations between RA’s and returning residentsOther disadvantagesShorter winter breakOnly two possible RA termsMid-year housing for leaving RA’s
17 Group DiscussionWhat are the common causes of burnout at your school and how does it affect retention?In what ways have you seen burnout addressed in RA training programs? Do you have any other ideas?In what ways throughout the year do you or could you address RA burnout?How does the structure of your RA program impact burnout? Do you have any ideas for changes?
18 ReferencesBenedict, J., & Mondloch, G. (1989). Factors Affecting Burnout in Paraprofessional Residence Hall Staff Members. The Journal of College Student Development, 30,Berman, J. Burnout and Retention. Retrieved January 25th, 2010 from:Hardy, S., Dodd, D. (1998). Burnout among university resident assistants as a function of gender and floor assignment. ). Co-Dependency and Resident Assistants. The Journal of College Student Development, 39,Hetherington, C., & Kerr, B. (1998). Co-Dependency and Resident Assistants. The Journal of College and University Student Housing, 18,Hornack, J. (1982). Resident Assistant Burnout: A Self-Defeating Behavior. The Journal of College and University Student Housing, 12(2),Maslach, C (1982). Burnout: The cost of caring. New Jersey: Prentiss Hall Inc.