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View the latest results of the Employee Retention Index

57% of federal employees burnt out; 1 in 3 attribute burnout to COVID-19 new Eagle Hill research finds

Supervisors and millennials report substantially higher levels of burnout
Workload, poor communication and time pressures are top causes

Arlington, Va., February 2, 2021 – As the federal government grapples with a multitude of issues, national polling of the federal workforce indicates a majority of employees are burnt out (57 percent). Among employees who report burnout, one in three say it is attributable to COVID-19 circumstances. 

Additionally, supervisors and senior executives in the federal government report significantly higher levels of burnout. Among these senior executives, 70 percent report burnout, and 43 percent attribute the burnout to the COVID-19 pandemic.   

These findings are contained in the 2020 Eagle Hill Consulting Federal Employee Experience Survey conducted in December 2020. View the survey infographic here

“Federal employees remain under immense pressure – from the COVID-19 pandemic, to a far-reaching data hack, to implementing a presidential transition,” said David Witkowski, public service industry lead with Eagle Hill Consulting. “This level of burnout at all levels of the federal workforce is deeply troubling. Federal leaders have got to find a way to make workloads sustainable for employees and better equip managers to lead. Otherwise, agencies will struggle to retain talent and deliver on their mission.”

The research also found a substantially higher level of burnout among Millennials (64 percent), which is higher than Gen X (55 percent) and Baby Boomers (50 percent). Millennials are significantly more likely to report burnout at work from COVID-19 pandemic (41 percent) as compared to Gen X (26 percent) and Baby Boomers (19 percent). 

“ While younger workers make up about 24 percent of the federal workforce, the impact will grow as they move up the career ladder. 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,” Witkowski explained. 

When asked about the causes of burnout:

  • 44 percent attribute burnout to their workload.
  • 40 percent say lack of communication, feedback and support.  
  • 33 percent indicate it stems from time pressure.
  • 29 percent point to missing the right tools and technology.
  • More than a quarter (27 percent) say it’s from trying to juggle their personal and profession life. 

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. 

Eagle Hill Consulting LLC is a woman-owned business that provides unconventional management consulting services in the areas of Strategy & Performance, Talent, and Change. The company’s expertise in delivering innovative solutions to unique challenges spans across the private, public, and nonprofit sectors, from financial services to healthcare to media & entertainment. Eagle Hill has offices in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, Boston, MA and Seattle, WA. More information is available at www.eaglehillconsulting.com.

Media Contact:  Susan Nealon | 703.229.8600 | snealon@eaglehillconsulting.com | @WeAreEagleHill