Burnout Rates Higher for Government Workforce

Sixty-five percent of government employees say they are burned out, significantly higher than their private-sector counterparts (44 percent) according to new research from Eagle Hill Consulting. Government workers also indicate they are more likely to leave their organization in the next 12 months (49 percent) as compared to private-sector workers (30 percent).

This research comes as the United States continues to face an acute worker shortage and the number of Americans quitting their jobs continues to rise.

The results signal the ongoing Great Resignation is having a sharp impact on workers who remain in their jobs, especially in the public sector. Seventy-five percent of government workers say staffing shortages are contributing to employee burnout as compared to 60 percent of private-sector employees.

These findings are from an Eagle Hill Consulting workforce survey conducted by Ipsos from April 5-7. The 2022 Eagle Hill Consulting Workforce Burnout Survey included 1,003 respondents from a random sample of employees across the United States on burnout and retention.

“It’s not surprising that our government workers are experiencing higher levels of burnout,” says Melissa Jezior, president and CEO of Eagle Hill Consulting. “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.

“While this employee sentiment among government workers is alarming, there are practical steps leaders can take to address both burnout and attrition,” Jezior continued. “Many government workers are mission-driven and committed to public service. Addressing their specific drivers of burnout can help keep them on the job, as will ensure that they feel appreciated and valued for their public service.”

She said, “The first step is to engage in a dialogue with employees to understand their pain points and collaborate on solutions. For some government workers, their workload is the problem. For others, it could be concerns about flexible hours or remote work. Still, others may be seeking better communication and clarity about their performance expectations.”

Additional research findings show:

  • Government employees say their workloads are a problem (43 percent), followed by juggling work and personal life (35 percent), a lack of communication, feedback and support (34 percent), time pressures (29 percent), and performance expectations (26 percent).
  • Seventy-one percent of government workers said a four-day workweek would help. Other solutions included increased flexibility (70 percent), decreased workload (65 percent), better health and wellness offerings (62 percent), reduced administrative burdens (57 percent), more on-site amenities (58 percent), working from home (56 percent), and the ability to relocate or work from multiple locations (47 percent).
  • The pandemic triggered government workers to consider changing their personal priorities (56 percent), career (45 percent), employer (44 percent), and where they live (38 percent).

More information is available at www.eaglehillconsulting.com.

Photo by: Antoni Shkraba