Mindfulness and Work
Mindfulness refers to various traits, practices and processes that share a common emphasis on the ability to be in the present moment through nonjudgmental attention and awareness. It involves the ability to pay attention to both internal (cognitions, bodily sensations) and external (environmental features, social interactions) stimuli and doing so in a way that does not evoke judgement or evaluation. Our lab is involved in several studies examining mindfulness. This includes testing a brief mindfulness-based intervention for healthcare workers, examining how mindfulness may enhance mentoring and other close relationships, how mindful parenting may relate to work-family outcomes, and exploring the intersection between mindfulness and acts of altruism.
Mentoring & Relationships at Work
The ECHO Lab is also interested in organizational mentoring. Dr. Eby’s research in this area has focused on both formal and informal mentoring, as well as the positive and potentially negative aspects of mentoring. An upcoming series of studies will examine how mentoring experiences relate to physiological indicators of health for both mentors and protégés using both laboratory and field-based methods. We will also be exploring how mentor and protégé mindfulness may enhance mentoring experiences for both individuals, and how the practice of mindfulness may improve relational functioning. Other on-going or planned projects focus on mentoring episodes and affective responses, relational turning points in mentoring, and how being in personal recovery from substance abuse affects relational functioning in work groups.
Over the past decade our lab has been studying stress, burnout, and turnover among healthcare workers with funding from the National Institutes of Health. We have been investigating the predictors of occupational vs. organizational turnover, how employees handle unexpected changes at work, and the role of supervisory mentoring relationships in the stressor-strain process. New projects include examining how more macro, community-level factors such as crime rate, unemployment rate, and socio-economic status influence occupational health outcomes for employees and a review of objective measures of health used in I-O psychology. In addition, we have a new study examining how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the experience of work, particularly for frontline workers who are at greater risk of contagion, but also have elevated status as working "heroes" during the pandemic.
Work and Nonwork Life
Some members of the ECHO Lab are also working on projects examining the intersection of work and nonwork life. This includes a study of intergenerational care-giving, regional differences in the work-family interface, and work-family transitions over time.