Abstract: Pathway to Intention to Leave Among Employees in Vocational Rehabilitation Settings: Professional Identity, Job Satisfaction, and Burnout (Society for Social Work and Research 26th Annual Conference - Social Work Science for Racial, Social, and Political Justice)

96P Pathway to Intention to Leave Among Employees in Vocational Rehabilitation Settings: Professional Identity, Job Satisfaction, and Burnout

Thursday, January 13, 2022
Marquis BR Salon 6, ML 2 (Marriott Marquis Washington, DC)
* noted as presenting author
HaeJung Kim, Associate Professor, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea, Republic of (South)
Yu Gyeong Kim, MSW Candidate, MSW candidate, Kyung Hee University, South Korea, Korea, Republic of (South)
Vocational rehabilitation services support young adults with disabilities to obtain vocational training and to enter the labor market. A growing number of young people with developmental disabilities in vocational rehabilitation can be observed in South Korea, which leads to an increase in the number of employees in this setting. Studies showed that employees supporting people with disabilities experienced a relatively high burnout and turnover rate, and low job satisfaction (Bogenschutz et al., 2014; Choi, 2020). They frequently experience conflicting expectations in the job roles, which increases professional identity dilemmas. However, limited studies have been done about turnover among employees in vocational rehabilitation settings. This study examined a holistic pathway to intention to leave and particularly focus on the relationship between professional identity, job satisfaction, burnout, and intention to leave. Considering that over 70% of the employees in this setting are social workers in South Korea, this study may provide workforce development strategies for organizations serving with people with disabilities, primarily ignored in social work areas.

A cross-sectional with a combination of online and offline surveys was conducted in 2021. We randomly selected 50 organizations registered in the Vocational Rehabilitation Associations serving people with disabilities in Gyung-gi province and sent out three surveys per organization. A total of 114 people responded to the survey with 70% response rates. Reliable and valid standardized instruments were used to assess client relationship (α=.80), professional identity (α=.74), job satisfaction (α=.84), burnout (α=.82), intention to leave (yes/no). A serial mediation effect using path analysis was performed using AMOS 27.0.

We tested a path to intention to leave; professional identity-job satisfaction-burnout-intention to leave. Final model yielded a good fit to the data (χ²(5)=7.78, p =.17, IFI= .98, TLI=.90, CFI=.98, NFI=.94). Explained variances of burnout and intention to leave were 57%, 28%, respectively. The results showed that professional identity was positively associated with satisfaction with the job itself (β=.65, p <.001) and satisfaction with pay (β =.31,p=.03). Among the three subscales of job satisfaction, only satisfaction with co-workers was significantly associated with burnout (β =.55, p <.001). Burnout was not directly associated with intention to leave, but satisfaction with the job itself was significant to intention to leave (β =-.30, p =.03). Serial mediating effects were examined using bias-corrected bootstrapping. The client relationship indirectly influences burnout through satisfaction with co-workers (β=-.24, p =.01, CI=-.38, -.07). Professional identity also indirectly influenced intention to leave through satisfaction with the job itself (β -.30, p =.004, CI= -.34, -.07).

Different from the previous studies, burnout did not directly impact to intention to leave. Instead, having a solid professional identity promoted increased satisfaction with the job itself, then it strongly impacts decreased intention to leave. Also, satisfaction with co-workers is a critical factor in burnout, suggesting the importance of perceived support from co-workers that prevent burnout among employees working with people with disabilities. This study provides implications to develop different organizational strategies to address the issues of workers’ burnout and intention to leave in vocational rehabilitation settings.