This study explored solutions to the issue of burnout and retention of Extension agents. Extension agents experience burnout for reasons such as long hours, stress, and organizational factors. As Extension administration addresses job satisfaction and performance of Extension employees, burnout and retention issues identified in this study can facilitate efforts to enhance the effectiveness of a statewide Extension program. Herzberg’s Motivation-Hygiene Theory was the theoretical framework for this study. Researchers used the constant-comparative method of analysis to identify recurring themes from the open-ended items of an online-administered survey. Twelve primary themes emerged, including (a) compensation, (b) hiring practices, (c) promotion and advancement within Extension, (d) organizational support regarding agent development, (e) organizational support regarding administration, (f) organizational support regarding colleagues, (g) reporting, (h) recognition, (i) resources, (j) personnel and staffing, (k) evaluation of administration and specialists, and (l) workload. Results suggest that Extension administration should focus on the maintenance factors of compensation, workload, and internal promotion and advancement, as well as motivating factors, to improve retention of Extension agents.
Benge, M., Harder, A., & Goodwin, J. (2015). Solutions to Burnout and Retention as Perceived by County Extension Agents of the Colorado State University Extension System. Journal of Human Sciences and Extension, 3(1), 1. https://scholarsjunction.msstate.edu/jhse/vol3/iss1/1
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