For students who are working all summer, it can be a stressful time. As I have been working with these students over the past month, I have been trying to make sure they are not getting burned out. It is important to me that our summer work crew students are able to complete the necessary repairs to the hall for the fall, while having fun. I have noticed when students get burned out doing a job they are less energetic and complain more about their responsibilities. On a daily basis I try to combat this issue, and make sure our work crew is getting the job done efficiently.
I think one of the best ways to combat burnout with student workers is to practice servant leadership. This is one of the primary leadership philosophies used at Eastern Kentucky University Housing Department. Servant leadership is a philosophy that believes that as you are assigning students tasks, you should be willing to work with them to help complete their task. That is something I believe in, the people you are leading are more likely to be energized if you are helping them get them get things done fast and efficiently. I tell the students that I work with that I would not have them do anything that I would not be willing to do. It is important that students feel valued when being led. When students feel that you are trying to work with them they are more likely to work well efficiently.
When working with students I want to let them know how they are excelling. I believe that another way to help with burnout is rewarding students for their hard work. When students feel like their hard work is being noticed they feel like a valued member of the team. Throughout the summer I try to recognize the students and reward them for doing a good job by giving them extra breaks when needed and words of encouragement With being a leader who values the students who work with you, they are more likely to work smarter and harder to get the job done.
Burnout is something that many students encounter. Some people can go the whole school year without feeling exhausted and tired of doing certain tasks, but once summer hits it is totally different story. Being a Student Affairs graduate student I have learned the importance of working alongside your students and valuing their hard work will help them to have a work ethic where they are more energetic!What are some ways you try to help your students feel burnout during those long summer days?