- Workplace burnout typically emerges during eras of great stress and pressure from higher ups, and the pandemic created the perfect recipe for a poor workplace experience.
- 49% of government workers are likely to leave their organization in the next year compared to 30% of private sector workers.
- Although the source of these stressors come from various aspects of both work and personal life, 71% of government workers said that pivoting to a four-day work week could help them.
Burnout has become the lexicon of today’s workforce.
Trauma from the pandemic, and its subsequent repercussions, has pushed many professionals to the limits of their mental strength. For some, this has resulted in developing serious mental health issues that are largely being ignored by employers.
For government employees in particular, this exhaustion has run rampant.
New research from Eagle Hill Consulting shows that government workers are experiencing burnout at a much higher level than those working in the private sector. Conducted by Ipsos, the data collected over 1,000 responses from government workers between April 5 and 7 of this year.
Why Are Government Workers So Burned Out?
Workplace burnout typically emerges during eras of great stress and pressure from higher ups, and the pandemic created the perfect recipe for a poor workplace experience.
Not only does this impact the ongoing labor shortage that has plagued both public and private entities, but it is diluting talent quality as employees struggle to stay above the surface.
While this has permeated the entire workforce, the levels of exhaustion among government workers is too loud to ignore.
2022 Eagle Hill Consulting Workforce Burnout Survey findings:
- 49% of respondents are likely to leave their organization in the next year compared to 30% of private sector workers
- 75% cite staffing shortages as the reason for experiencing burnout compared to 60% of private sector workers
- 43% of government employees said their work responsibilities have exceeded their bandwidth
“It’s not surprising that our government workers are experiencing higher levels of burnout,” said Melissa Jezior, president and CEO of Eagle Hill Consulting, in a press release. “The pressure on the government workforce has been overwhelming for the past two years. And just as the pandemic pressures have begun to subside, the Great Resignation now is a driving factor in employee burnout.”
Addressing Government Employee Burnout
The word burnout tends to be thrown around loosely, but those who have faced its wrath know it has the strength to hamper even the most engaged and motivated workers.
In order to combat burnout, it is critical to understand it.
Respondents who said they have experienced burnout in recent years stated that the top culprits of pushing them to their limits were: excess workload, poor work-life balance, limited communication and feedback, and unmanageable performance expectations.
All of this creates a workplace environment that is depleted of satisfaction and riddled with turnover.
Although the source of these stressors come from various aspects of both work and personal life, 71% of government workers said that pivoting to a four-day work week could help them.
The survey showed that respondents also believe that the following could help alleviate symptoms of burnout:
- Flexibility (71%)
- Decreased workload (65%)
- Better health and wellness benefits (62%)
- More on-site amenities (58%)
- Less administrative burdens (57%)
- Working from home (56%)
- Remote working capabilities (47%)
There is clearly an overarching theme in the ideal solution for these workers: less work, more flexibility.
The pandemic led to a Great Awakening for many professionals, causing them to reprioritize their lives. For many, this meant putting their personal satisfaction and happiness above their careers, or better yet, finding a job that allows room for both.
“Many government workers are mission-driven and committed to public service,” said Jezior. “Addressing their specific drivers of burnout can help keep them on the job, as will ensuring that they feel appreciated and valued for their public service.”