• Westwood International

Job Burnout Statistics, and What They Mean for Your Solutions to It

Updated: Nov 3, 2021

"The nature of work is changing at whirlwind speed. Perhaps now more than ever before, job stress poses a threat to the health of workers and, in turn, to the

health of organizations"

-National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health

A recent Gallup study of 7,500 full-time employees discovered that 23% of them

reported feeling burned out at work very often or always. An additional 44% reported

feeling burned out sometimes. That means that fully two-thirds of workers are

experiencing job burnout.

Beyond the various personnel difficulties caused by burnout — e.g., absenteeism, job

dissatisfaction — the resulting higher stress also drives a number of physiological health

problems. A 2017 study linked job burnout to coronary heart disease, gastrointestinal

issues, type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol — accounting for an estimated $125-$190

billion in healthcare spending each year.

The overall individual, organizational, and societal cost of job-related burnout is high

and rising. Fortunately, both the underlying causes of this syndrome and solutions to

them have been identified.

Employee burnout stats you should know

"Employee burnout has reached epidemic proportions."

-Charlie DeWitt, Kronos

A 2016 survey by Morar Consulting found that 95% of human resource managers view

employee burnout as a major challenge to workforce retention, a trend hitting youngest

generations hardest. Results of a 2015 external well-being survey conducted by

consulting powerhouse Deloitte showed that job burnout greatly affects retention of

millennials. An astounding 84% of them say they’ve experienced burnout at their current

job. Nearly half of millennials say they have left a job because they felt burned out.

A 2017 Kronos study of HR managers revealed that 46% of them put employee burnout

as the cause for up to half of their annual workforce turnover. The top contributors to

employee burnout they identified were:

1. unfair compensation (41%)

2. unreasonable workload (32%)

3. too much overtime/after-hours work (32%)

The Deloitte survey showed the top driver of burnout was lack of support or recognition

from leadership, indicating a change in organizational culture may be what’s required.

Even the Federal government is concerned

Stress . . . At Work, a recent National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health report

published by the Department of Health and Human Services, took a deep dive into the

nature of job burnout. NIOSH is the Federal agency responsible for conducting research

and making recommendations for the prevention of work-related injury and illness.

The NIOSH report concluded that 75% of employees believe that workers have more

on-the-job stress than a generation ago. Specifically:

● 40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful.

● 29% of workers felt quite a bit or extremely stressed at work.

● 26% of workers said they were “often or very often burned out or stressed by

their work.”

● 25% view their jobs as the number one stressor in their lives.

They also found that job-related stress is more strongly associated with health

complaints than financial or family problems. Even with all these difficulties, the Deloitte

study found that nearly 70% of professionals feel their organizations are not doing

enough to prevent or alleviate job burnout.

Relieving job burnout (and its many negative effects)

Making compensation as fair as possible and workloads more reasonable could go a

long way toward relieving the underlying causes of job burnout at your organization.

Just cutting the amount of after-hours work and overtime you expect of your staff would

certainly help. Enhancing communication all across your organization, tying your stated

organizational values to actual work life, also comes highly recommended.

These efforts can address a growing problem in America’s workplaces, saving your

organization headache, cost, and valuable employees. But you may want to aim a little

higher, aspiring to something greater: an organization where you and your staff flourish

and thrive. For that you made need to take a deeper look at how you conduct your

business day-to-day, considering more fundamental changes in your organization.

Greg Zlevor, president of Westwood International and founder of the Global Community

for Leadership Innovation, provides insights and experiences for leaders and high

potentials to help them become more valuable.


--"Workplace Stress: Are you experiencing workplace stress", The American Institute

of Stress.

--"Workplace Burnout at ‘Epidemic Proportions’: Long days, little pay, IT overload,

executive cluelessness are all reasons, survey finds" by Dana Wilkie; SHRM, January

31, 2017.

--Stress . . . At Work; U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (National Institute

for Occupational Safety and Health); Publication NO. 99-101.

--"Employee Burnout, Part 1: The 5 Main Causes" by Ben Wigert and Sangeeta

Agrawal; Gallup: Workplace, July 12, 2018.

--"Companies are facing an employee burnout crisis" by Sheryl Kraft; special to

CNBC.com, August 14, 2018.

--"35+ Impressive HR Statistics You Need to Know in 2019" by Courtney Moran; G2,

January 7, 2019.

--"The Employee Burnout Crisis: Study Reveals Big Workplace Challenge in 2017"

Kronos, January 9, 2017.

--National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Wikipedia.

--"Workplace Burnout Survey: Burnout without borders" Deloitte; 2015.

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