Employees and Managers Are Burned Out and Checked Out

Employees and Managers Are Burned Out and Checked Out

April 25, 2024
New Harris poll says 75% of employees and 63% of managers are feeling burned out.

The stress level for both managers and employees is not improving.

On April 16 a Harris Poll surveyed 2,086 employees and found that 75% of employees and 63% of managers report feeling burned out or ambivalent in their current position.

The biggest driver of burnout for both groups is "a great deal of constant change."

Other factors include:

  • Unnecessary work from senior leadership
  • Employees frequently having to shift focus throughout the day
  • High turnover rates that often lead to even more work for those left behind.

Even though both groups are stressed, managers aren't recognizing just how overwhelmed their employees feel, with 89% saying their employees are thriving compared to the actual thriving figure of 24%. That's more than a 3-to-1 discrepancy.

"Managers have been asked to lead employees through this permacrisis we find ourselves in today with empathy, and yet they still face greater responsibilities and heightened productivity pressure, often with fewer resources and smaller teams," said David Grossman, CEO of The Grossman Group, which commissioned the survey, in a statement. "All of this is happening without the personal support and flexibility they need to thrive."

Highlights of the findings include:

Widespread burnout among employees and managers

    • 58% of burned-out employees and managers strongly agree that they are mentally exhausted; 54% strongly agree that they feel overwhelmed in their current role.
    • Top burnout drivers for managers are a disconnect between the company's stated values and the workplace culture, and the fact that employees are not encouraged and sometimes even discouraged from taking time off from work. Another burnout driver for managers is that the demands of their job "require me to work outside of standard working hours."

Heightened burnout indicators for younger generations

    • Younger generation employees are nearly 3x more likely than older generations to say that interpersonal conflict hinders working conditions and drives feelings of burnout (16%). They are more than 2x as likely than older generations to cite a toxic work environment (16%) and communication overload as contributing to burnout (17%).

The survey also found that for those employees who are doing well, the top three factors are:

    • A manager invested in their success (61%)
    • An empathetic manager (57%)
    • Approachable senior leadership (53%)

Different Viewpoints

A notable nuance is that what drives thriving for managers and employees is slightly different. For employees, the number one factor is quite personal, feeling that their manager is genuinely invested in their success and leads with empathy. When looking at ambivalent employees, the largest opportunity or gap to fill was around managers demonstrating personal investment in those employees.   

While managers want to see a personal investment from leadership as well, the even bigger factor for managers is feeling that their leader does a good job translating business strategy into the work they do, as well as clear and authentic communication from leadership.  

There are bright spots in the data, especially the fact that even many burned-out managers report relatively positive feelings about their work overall. For instance, only 36% of burned-out employees feel proud of the work they're doing, yet 50% of burned-out managers feel pride in their work. Furthermore, 46% of burned-out managers still feel respected at work and 39% feel they are reaching their potential.

Sponsored Recommendations

ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS)

March 28, 2024
ISO 45001 certification – reduce your organizational risk and promote occupational health and safety (OHS) by working with SGS to achieve certification or migrate to the new standard...

Want to Verify your GHG Emissions Inventory?

March 28, 2024
With the increased focus on climate change, measuring your organization’s carbon footprint is an important first action step. Our Green House Gas (GHG) verification services provide...

Download Free ESG White Paper

March 28, 2024
The Rise and Challenges of ESG – Your Journey to Enhanced Sustainability, Brand and Investor Potential

Work Safety Tips: 5 Tactics to Build Employee Engagement for Workplace Safety

March 13, 2024
Employee safety engagement strategies have become increasingly key to fostering a safer workplace environment. But, how exactly do you encourage employee buy-in when it comes ...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!