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Forty-one percent of government workforce reports burnout, according to new Eagle Hill Consulting research

Employees continue to point to workload and staff shortage as sources of burnout

Arlington, Va., June 6, 2024 – Employee burnout among the government workforce remains stubbornly high at 41 percent, but is down from 47 percent since Eagle Hill Consulting’s most recent employee burnout survey. Gen X government employees report higher levels of burnout (49 percent), as do employees with children in the household (49 percent).

Workers who experience burnout say the top cause is their workload (48 percent), followed by staff shortages and juggling personal and professional life, both at 44 percent. Eagle Hill has been tracking burnout remedies since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. From that time, workers have consistently reported that these remedies would alleviate their stress: increased flexibility (69 percent), a four-day work week (68 percent), decreased workload (65 percent), and working from home (60 percent).

Read the 2024 Understanding Government Employee Burnout infographic.

“We’re seeing burnout continuing to ease among government employees, but it’s still too high,” says Melissa Jezior, president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting. “Our latest worker burnout research finds substantial burnout levels, and the burnout drivers have remained virtually unchanged. Workers continue to say that the burnout solution lies in offering more flexibility and addressing their workload levels.” 

“It’s important that government employers pay attention to this high level of burnout, along with employee views on causes and remedies. When workers are burnt out, they’re less productive, engaged, and innovative. And they’re more likely to leave their jobs, especially given that opportunities in the private sector typically offer higher pay. Worker views provide a roadmap for addressing burnout, and agencies that consider that input and take action will be best positioned to achieve their mission,” Jezior said. 

Additional survey findings are as follows:

  • Among government employees who experience burnout due to staff shortages, 85 percent said the impact is covering the workload for unfilled positions. Fifty-three percent said the impact is helping others learn their job, 42 percent said it’s training new hires, and 25 percent said it’s recruiting and interviewing new hires. 
  • Looking across generations, Gen X (49 percent) reports the highest burnout levels, followed by Millennials (42 percent) and Gen Z (36 percent). 
  • Forty-one percent of government employees who report burnout say they are not comfortable telling their manager they feel burned out.  
  • Sixty-four percent say that technology changes in the coming year will not impact their stress levels. 

These findings are from the 2024 Eagle Hill Consulting Workforce Burnout Survey conducted by Ipsos from February 6-9, 2024. The survey included 1,247 respondents from a random sample of employees across the U.S., including 515 government employees. Eagle Hill conducts the polling twice annually to maintain a pulse on worker burnout.

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. A leading authority on employee sentiment, Eagle Hill is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, with employees across the U.S. and offices in Boston and Seattle. More information is available at www.eaglehillconsulting.com.

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