This journal is about the impact of being away from job stressors and burnout. What are job stressors? Job stressors are defined as “the absence of positive job characteristics as well as the presence of negative ones”(eden, 1990). What is burnout? Burnout is “is a syndrome of gradual loss of motivation caused by chronic stressors”(fruedenberger, 1974). So how do we get relief from these stressors so they don’t cause burnout, that is what Dalia Etzion, Dov Eden and Yael Lapidot were trying to discover. The following paragraphs will explain what they did, how they did it and what they were hoping to find.
The two most common respites from job stressors and burnout are vacation and reserve services. Vacation has most commonly been studied. Exposure to daily stressors is a major precursor of burnout, many psychologists prescribe occasional time off work or a vacation as means of “recharging one’s battery”, helping to strengthen the feeling of competence. Vacation ameliorates job stressors by providing a change, then even a change to venue itself may provide the same relief. A reserve service provides such a change.
A good example of a reserve service is military service. This is how the authors experiment was done. They chose 4500 people to question. These men were degree holding engineers, practical engineers, and technicians. Each man answered a questionnaire. 103 of these men fit the criteria of work type they were looking for. These men receive call-up notices, 8 of them declined to participate because of having a heavy work load, 9 were ommitted after because the reservist’s service was canceled at the last minuet and another 5 because they couldn’t find matches.
Therefore the experiment consisted of 81 men who were to serve and 81 matches who were not serving. These matches were matched by snowball sampling. They were based on job similarity, position, age, seniority (no more then 5 years difference) and marital status. Workers who got call-up notices identified colleagues who were of similar age and marital status and were liable for the reserve service but had not receive a call-up notice.
They then matched them and they became the control group, they didn’t do the reserve service but were questioned about their stressors before the service began as well as after, so they could compare their feelings with the reservist’s. The average age for the reservist’s was 38 years old and their matches was 40 years old, but both age groups ranged from 27-54 years old. 92% of the reservist’s were married and 95% of their matches were.
Most reservist’s and their matches had at least one child and the average was 2 children for both groups. % of the reservist’s were certified engineers and 42% of their matches were. There was approx. 21% of the reservists who were practical engineers and 25% of the matches who were. The rest were technicians. Both groups seniority ranged from 6-38 years and the average was 12 years. The reservist’s average for holding their current position was 6 years and their matches was 7 years, but both ranged from 3-27 years. When they had receive all the information about the reservist’s and their matches, they set a date to begin the study.
They explained to each man the objective of the study and solicited their cooperation. They also explained why they were chosen and promised them complete confidentiality. Each man was then asked to complete a pretest questionnaire. They were collected by a human resources officer and mailed to the university. This was repeated 2 weeks before the reserve service began. There was also a postest scheduled for one week after the service had been complete.
This was the most important part of the procedure because it determined whether the hypothesis was true. conclusion their hypothesis was right, burnout declined among those who served, and remained the same with those who didn’t serve. Therefore, reserve services, like other types of respites from work have a positive impact on individuals returning to their work environment. However, reserve services cannot be used as a way of managing stressors and burnout but managers can take advantage of shutdowns and national holidays by enrolling employees in some sort of a reserve service. Studies show that even shorter vacations are just as effective as longer one’s.