One or the greatest concerns in personnel management or nonprofit organizations is the high turnover rate due to job burnout of high quality workers. This researcher's ten years of experience with nonprofit organizations, and the frequently received comments from agency executives. make it clear that burnout is an ever present problem.
The purpose or this project was to examine the many variables that determine the causal nature of burnout. The scope of this examination was to find predictive Indicators of job burnout that will give personnel managers insight and understanding into the problem. The strategies and tools that were developed from this study, could be used to reduce the high turnover rate of high Quality workers in nonprofit organizations.
A randomized control-group, pretest-posttest design and a correlational design were used to:
1) test the impact of a stress management training program that involves: relaxation exercises, self-hypnosis, physical exercise planning, nutrition education, stressful communication training, attitudinal training, and social support system planning; and
2) examine the relationship between job burnout and personality factors and organization-wide factors as are measured, respectively, by the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI ), the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI ), the Taylor-Johnson Temperament Analysts (TJTA), the Ways or Coping scale (WCS), and the Work Environment Scale (WES).
The results or this study will help determine specific strategies for nonprofit organizations to use In the Identification or burnout in employees. These strategies may have an Impact on recruitment and selection procedures, as well as managerial/personnel decisions that could reverse job burnout.
Several criteria prevented many nonprofit organizations from participating: a) agency size was fewer than 5 staff, b) difficulty in making a commitment to participate in a six month study, c) lack of use of MBO, and d) an unwillingness by some agency executives to obtain the approval or their board of directors.
A stratified random selection of 36 employees from each of the 3 organizations was produced from the persons willing to participate. These organizations met all or the above criteria, except for the use of MBO. Subjects were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups, but were not told in which group they were placed.
Data was compiled in two ways and analyzed in acceptable statistical methods. Comparison or difference were analyzed by at test or the means between the experimental and control groups, as well as pre and posttest comparison to determine the effect or the treatment, the stress management training. Personality and organizational factors were correlated by using the Pearson r, and all data were organized in matched pairs Including all pre and posttest data. Any data that could not be paired was eliminated.
The experimental design had 33 subjects, 19 in the experimental group and 14 In the control group (6 dropped out of the study, leaving a in the control group). Of the 27 subjects that completed the study, 7 came from one organization that was treated as experimental, and the other 20 subjects came from the other two organizations and were randomly assigned to experimental and control groups.
Predictive indicators of job burnout in nonprofit organizations can be separated into two general categories: 1) individual personality factors, and 2) organizational environment factors. Though this study and other research studies have not been able to determine the cause-effect relationship of these factors and job burnout, the mere presence of the factors indicates that burnout is more likely to occur.
Certain personality factors have been associated with burnout dimensions and become a sign-post for determining the presence of emotional exhaust ton and depersonalization. What does a person look like who is in burnout? They are nervous, tense, high-strung, and apprehensive in their general appearance. They are depressive, pessimistic, discouraged, or dejected in their feeling, tone, attitude, or demeanor. They are subjective and not objective, emotional, self-absorbed, and illogical. They are hostile, critical, argumentative, or punitive in their conversation. And finally, they seem impulsive in their actions or decisions.
Work Pressure, the degree to which the press of work and time urgency dominate the job milieu, is strongly associated with both emotional exhaustion and depersonalization. Having a strong focus on getting the job done at the expense of showing concern for the individual may get the work out, but may also cause resentment and anger in the worker and lead to a general withdrawal of the individual’s commitment to the job and the organization. Conversely, task orientation, the degree of emphasis on good planning, efficiency, and getting the job done, is associated with reduced depersonalization, as is involvement, the extent to which employees are concerned about and committed to their jobs; and peer cohesion, the extent to which employees are friendly and supportive of one another.
Nonprofit organizations and managers must reconsider clearly the factors that are under their responsibility. Clarity, the extent to which employees know what to expect in their daily routine and how explicitly rules and policies are communicated; and supervisor support, the extent to which management is supportive of employees and encourages employees to be supportive of one another.
Future research on job burnout in nonprofit organizations should focus on two main areas of concern: 1) employee assistance programs (EAPs), and 2) cause-effect relationship of personally and organizational factors.
Pomerantz, S. (1991). Predictive indicators of job burnout in nonprofit organizations. Working paper (University of San Francisco. Institute for Nonprofit Organization Management); no. 15. San Francisco, Calif.: Institute for Nonprofit Organization Management, College of Professional Studies, University of San Francisco.