Preventing Employee Burn-Out
Client: A university writing center
Concern: Though generally considered a highly successful program, the university writing center was grappling with a few concerns. One of the concerns Sable addressed was the fact that first-year tutors were reportedly over-stressed & burnt-out.
- Participant-Observation– Worked as a writing tutor & received tutoring on her own writing
- Semi-Formal Interviews– Interviewed tutors, students, & university administrators
- Conversation Analysis– Videotaped tutoring sessions & analyzed them for problematic patterns
Diagnosis: First-year tutors were over-stressed and burnt-out because they only discussed their problems with other first-year tutors that were just as lost as they were. The people who were supposed to mentor first-year tutors rarely had a chance to interact with the first-year tutors thus they were unable to establish trusting relationships.
Treatment: A mentoring program that assigned first-year tutors to specific mentors. Mentors would build bonds from the beginning through social activities & maintain bonds by contacting tutors at least once a week.
Client: A college concerned for their international student population
Concern: Despite the mission of the college to facilitate learning through diversity (among other ways), international students and American students operated in two completely different social spheres and thus were not taking advantage of the opportunity to learn from each other.
- Participant-Observation– Participated in social activities with international students & assisted in the ESL class
- Semi-Formal Interviews– Interviewed students & administrators
Diagnosis: International students were given several opportunities to socialize with each other. They had a separate orientation, separate housing, and even, occasionally, separate classes– all the typical elements that cemented relationships at college. Both American and International students expressed interest in creating relationships with each other, but had no way to establish any relationship.
Treatment: A conversation partners program that paired international students with American students to have practice language skills, discuss cultures, and establish friendships.
Customizing a Wedding Ceremony
Clients: A couple preparing for their wedding
Concern: Their wedding officiant cancelled leaving a ceremony that did not accurately reflect their values.
- Discourse Analysis– Analyzed the linguistic structure of their ceremony as well as other classically structured wedding ceremonies
Diagnosis: There ceremony inaccurately reflected their values not only on the surface level, but also in the linguistic structure.
Treatment: A ceremony that accurately reflected their values, beliefs, and views of love and marriage. Sable also worked in a few references that sounded pretty to others, but painted a knowing smile on fellow SyFy nerds (to reflect the couple’s personalities). Sable has helped with two other ceremonies since.
Client: A Yoga Center
Concerns: The owner wanted to strengthen the feeling of community within the yoga center to increase customer loyalty.
- Participant-Observation– Experienced yoga classes as a client
- Semi-Formal Interviews– Interviewed yoga instructors and students
- Surveys– Created & implemented surveys on clients’ experiences
- Recordings– Audi-recorded yoga classes
Diagnosis: The feeling of community was limited by the lack of opportunity to converse and the way yoga instructors sought out conversations before and after classes with individuals instead of conversing with the class as a whole.
- Host community building events such as holiday parties
- Have yoga instructors engage their entire class in conversation before and after
- Give yoga instructors a budget for taking their class out for tea afterwards