The recent 13th annual WorkForces Report published by Aflac revealed that employers across the U.S. are grappling with meeting the healthcare expectations of their employees. This challenge is directly impacting employee satisfaction, wellbeing, and retention.
A majority 57% of American workers reported experiencing at least moderate levels of burnout, with workplace stress, particularly heavy workloads, being the primary cause. This burnout is reported to be disproportionately affecting women and younger workers, with 75% of women, 67% of Gen Z, and 64% of millennials reporting burnout.
Additionally, the confidence employees have in their employers’ concern for their wellbeing is reported to be on the decline, with only 48% feeling cared about in 2023 — down from 56% in 2022.
A concerning 89% of those reporting high levels of burnout also experienced other mental health challenges over the past year, including anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances.
Jeri Hawthorne, Senior Vice President at Aflac Incorporated, emphasized the importance of employers addressing these challenges proactively. By offering benefits that encompass mental health tools and resources, along with work-life balance perks like flexible work schedules, employers can enhance employee satisfaction, retention, and recruitment.
The report also revealed a disconnect between employers and employees regarding benefits satisfaction and understanding. While 78% of employers believe their employees are satisfied with their benefits, only 59% of employees expressed high satisfaction. This gap in perception suggests the need for better communication and understanding between employers and their workforce.
It will be important for employers to recognize and address these challenges in order to promote better attraction and retention. The rise in burnout and the disconnect in benefits understanding are not just passing trends but indicators of deeper systemic issues in the modern workplace. Addressing these concerns will not only improve employee wellbeing but also ensure that organizations can remain competitive within a fast-changing workforce.