What are examples of emotional labor in teachers, nurses, and human resources? This paper looks into this question. It also attempts to provide a suggestion of what measures employers can take in order to help their workers address the negative personal impact of emotional labor.
Teachers are subject to emotional labor and burnout as they invest long hours in their work and have to invest their personal resources into “extra-role time behavior” (Brown & Roloff, 2011). As teachers spend as much as 1,913 hours on teaching over 36-week school year annually as well as have to engage in “the extra-role time behavior,” they often fail to replenish lost resources, invest enough time into family, friends, exercise, sleep, and chores. This places them into psychological distress and they face emotional labor.
One of the examples of emotional labor in the nursing profession is having to perform more tasks due to the trend of downsizing at hospitals. The employees are simply afraid to refuse because they believe they would lose their jobs. This makes them face burnout and inability to juggle job responsibility and home life. Another example is high level of violence in the workplace. According to OSHA, hospitals are some of the most hazardous workplaces in the United States. Probably, the greatest issue with nurses with relation to stress is workplace injuries. Nurses are required to lift patients and perform other duties that may lead to injuries as hospitals attempt to save funds as they avoid purchasing adequate supplies (NM Nurse, 2015). Nurses in mental hospitals may get injured by patients.
In human resources, a good example of emotional labor impact on workforce is that of middle managers who face downsizing. Clark (1995) describes how “an estimated 4 million have been forced or lured off payrolls with generous “early retirement” packages […] and for many the prospects are grim – occasional work as “consultants” or “freelancers,” and no fringe benefits.”
Employers should address the issue of employee emotional labor by enhancing employee assistance counseling programs, which help workers deal with job dissatisfaction, divorce, violence-induced traumas, and anger, with additional perks and benefits aimed at relief from stress. Also, employees should be provided with free time management trainings. These measures will help, to some extent, resolve the problem.
- Brown, L. A., & Roloff, M. E. (2011). Extra-role time, burnout, and commitment: The power of promises kept. Business Communication Quarterly, 74 (4), 450-474. doi:10.1177/1080569911424202.
- Clark, C. S. (1995, August 4). Job stress. CQ Researcher, 5, 681-704. Retrieved from http://library.cqpress.com.
- The American Nurses Association urges Congress to prevent nurse injuries. (2015). New
Mexico Nurse, 60 (3), 6.