The human services field is one of the most rewarding professions. However, the human services field has one of the highest turnover rates of any other profession. Human service jobs with the highest turnover tend to be those positions that work directly with those who need help. These positions are often direct care staff, residential counselors, and staff at detention centers and psychiatric hospitals. However, there is also a high level of turnover in case manager and social work positions.
1. Schedule Monthly Vacation Time- I recommend scheduling time off each month. I like to call them “mental health days”. Sometimes a periodic three day weekend can be just enough to recharge the emotional battery.
I also recommend taking at least two full weeks off for vacation per year. I know many people feel like they have too much work to do or can't afford to take the time off. Trust me, the work will still be there whether you take the time off or not.
5. Rotation of Workload- Stressful cases often lead to burnout in the human services field. I have seen some cases that are so stressful that they are rotated to a new case manager every 6-12 months. Distributing difficult cases evenly may also reduce burnout. Some staff may tend to get the most difficult cases due to their expertise. However, there still needs to be balance and overloading one person with more difficult cases will lead to quick burnout.