Employee burnout is on the rise, affecting job performance and retention

Steven Loeb · November 21, 2022 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/5588

Those with high burnout are more than 3x more likely to seek a new job than those with no burnout

We're nearing the end of 2022, COVID is in the rear view mirror for a lot of people, so you'd think things would be getting better, but that's not the case for many workers.

In fact, because of a number of factors, including lingering COVID-19 concerns, concerns over a sluggish economy, and the fear of a potential recession,  employee burn out is on the rise, and is at a higher rate than it was a year ago, according to the 2022-2023 Aflac WorkForces Report

The report, which took place online between August 31, 2022, and September 20, and responses from 1,200 employers, found that 59% of American workers are experiencing at least moderate levels of burnout, up from 52% in 2021, and on par with the levels reported in 2020 at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

That included 8% who said their burnout was "very high," 15% who said it was "high," and 36% who described it as "moderate."

When broken down by demographics, 62% of women and 57% of men said they had at least moderate burnout, and it got worse as the workers got younger: while only 38% of Baby Boomers said they were burned out, and 57% of Gen X, that jumped to 69% of Millennials and 71% of Gen Z workers. 

Of those who said they had high burnout, 52% said they had experienced anxiety in the last 12 months, 42% said they had depression, and 40% had trouble sleeping.

Not surprisingly, employees who suffer from high levels of burnout also reported lower job satisfaction compared to those with moderate or low/no burnout, 55% to 80%. They also have lower confidence that their employers care about them, negative perceptions of work-life balance and, perhaps most importantly to employers, they are more than three times as likely as employees with no burnout to seek another job in the next year.The impact of these mental health problems are not only being felt by employees, 46% whom reported their mental health has negatively affected job performance, up from 34% 2021, but employers as well with 51% indicating that employee mental health has impacted their organization.

So, what do those employees want and what would make them feel less burned out? The answer mostly seems to come down to work/life balance.

At the top of the list is more either paid time off or more flexible scheduling, with 30% and 24%, respectively. Burned out worker also are most likely to want a permanent remote work option, with 20%, compared to 12% of moderately burned out employees, though, interestingly, that rises to 14% of employees who report no burnout at all. While on-site mental healthcare and virtual mental health coaching came in pretty low among what burned out employees said would help them, it's nearly universally popular among workers, with nearly 80% of employees stating that mental health coverage is critical. Yet, only 61% said they have access to mental health care as part of their benefits package, including only 54% of those employed by small businesses.

Despite all of this, 56% of employees said they believe that their organizations care about their well-being at least a moderate amount, including 70% of those who have a hybrid working arrangement. Meanwhile, 68% of employees said that they thought their organization were doing better in their efforts regarding mental health compared to last year, compared to just 4% who said they were doing worse.

So, despite their issues, employees seem overall to be pretty happy with how their employers are handling their problems.   

(Image source: blr.com)

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