Here’s the unfortunate truth—manager burnout is real.
Leaders of all levels, but particularly entry and mid-level managers, are stressed and overwhelmed. While leader burnout has always been happening, the pandemic has exacerbated it. For the last three years we’ve expected leaders to not only do their normal jobs but also manage ongoing pandemic-related changes and uncertainty and care for employees’ emotional and physical health.
In fact, 61% of leaders report having more responsibilities at work since pre-pandemic times in multiple areas of their jobs:
Leaders are expected to do a lot. There are administrative tasks (timecard approvals, budgeting, etc.), operational responsibilities (managing projects, attending meetings, etc.), management and leadership duties (performance reviews, hiring, mentoring, developing employees’ skills, caring for employee wellbeing and inclusion, etc.), and strategic work (planning, innovating) to be done. This growth in tasks and responsibilities increases odds of high anxiety in leaders by 21%, which increases odds of leader burnout 6X and hurts odds of engagement by 51%.
Leaders can feel conflicted in their roles as they act as “shock absorbers” between the needs and wants of the organization and the needs and wants of their employees. They’re often torn between being a leader that represents the organization’s interests, being committed to their people, and taking care of their own needs.
We often forget that leaders are employees too. Yet with the increased stress and conflict, leaders aren’t getting enough support and appreciation. Mid and entry-level leaders are 33% and 47% less likely to feel appreciated than senior leaders. This all contributes to manager burnout.
Read more about why managers are at risk of burnout and what organizations can do to help build a workplace culture where leaders thrive in our 2023 Global Culture Report.
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