Workplace burnout has long been a concern of workers and human resources managers, with the Harvard Business Review reporting that burnout adds between $125 and $190 billion in annual additional healthcare costs, and with Gallup reporting that burned out employers cost $3,400 out of every $10,000 in salary due to disengagement. While burnout is a fact of life in many industries without strong worker representation, a recent study by Eagle Hill Consulting reports that even federal government workers are feeling burned out.
The report, “The Federal Employee Experience: How Agencies Can Meet the Needs of Women Workers Amidst the Great Reevaluation,” finds that 59% of women and 56% of men working for the federal government reported feeling burnt out at work. However, the two groups reported different reasons for feeling that way, with 49% of men vs. 39% of women citing workload as the primary source of their burnout, and 44% of women vs. 37% of men citing lack of communication, feedback, and support as their top reasons.
"The Great Resignation is a tremendous challenge for federal agencies working on overdrive, and it will require a Great Reevaluation of the workplace culture to keep women in their jobs," says Melissa Jezior, President and Chief Executive Officer of Eagle Hill Consulting. "This means federal leaders must understand at a deep level the issues facing women in their agencies, then devise a tailored employee experience that will keep women from walking out the door. In many cases, focusing on flexibility, culture, mentorships, and team relationships can help address the employee experience federal women are facing."
Eagle Hill Consulting’s research has also found that women are more likely to cite a lack of connection to colleagues and not feeling empowered as factors contributing to burnout, with only 53% of women reporting that they believe their agency incorporates their perspectives in day-to-day decision making. Additionally, federal women workers are more likely than men to say that they do not have access to the training needed to excel in their work, that they are not being mentored for success, and that they do not belong.
With the “Great Resignation” still in full swing, public sector employers that wish to retain their employees cannot afford to ignore workplace burnout, nor the factors that are having a disparate impact on the women in their workforce.