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Troubling levels of federal employee burnout identified in new research

Federal employees remain under immense pressure – from the COVID-19 pandemic, to a far-reaching data hack, to implementing a presidential transition. It’s critical for federal leaders to find ways to make workloads more sustainable, otherwise agencies will struggle to retain talent and deliver on the mission.

A majority of federal employees are burnt out

57% of federal employees report burnout

One in three attribute burnout to COVID-19 circumstances

Workload, poor communication and time pressures are the top causes of burnout

workload

lack of communication, feedback and support

time pressures

missing the right tools and technology

juggling personal and professional life

This level of  burnout at all levels of the federal workforce is deeply troubling.

Dave Witkowski, Eagle Hill Consulting Public Service Industry Lead 

Supervisors and millennials report substantially higher levels of burnout

Federal burnout by level

Federal supervisors and executives report substantially higher levels of burnout.

Federal burnout by generation

Millennials are experiencing burnout at higher levels than Gen Xers and Baby Boomers.

Federal burnout attributed to the Covid-19 pandemic

Millennials attribute their burnout to the impacts of the pandemic more than 1.5 times as often as Gen Xers, and over twice as often as Baby Boomers.

Failure to address Millennials’ burnout means these employees will either look for opportunities outside of the federal government or they won’t be operating at peak performance.

Dave Witkowski, Eagle Hill Consulting Public Service Industry Lead 

Methodology

The 2020 Eagle Hill Consulting Federal Employee Experience Survey was conducted online by Greenwald Research in December 2020. The online survey included 509 respondents from federal employees across the United States.