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The constant pace of change and a variety of new demands are contributing to widespread burnout in the workplace with 75% of employees and 63% of managers reporting they are burned out or ambivalent in the current position, new research finds. 

According to the Harris Poll survey done on behalf of The Grossman Group, managers also do not recognize how overwhelmed their employees feel. The survey found that 89% of managers believe their employees are thriving, but only 24% of employees actually feel that way. 

The research, conducted in January and released last week, finds the biggest driver of burnout for both groups is “a great deal of constant change.” Other factors include unnecessary work from senior leadership, employees frequently having to shift focus throughout the day, and high turnover rates that often lead to even more work for those left behind. 

Younger workers were three times more likely than older generations of workers to say that interpersonal conflicts impact their working conditions and drive feelings of burnout. The findings suggest younger workers need more help in navigating the dynamics of the workplace to feel more supported so that their work environment feels less “toxic” to them. 

“These findings are a wake-up call. Clearly, employees are not OK and yet that’s often not recognized by senior leadership or the frontline leaders whose job it is to support and engage their teams,” said David Grossman, founder and CEO of The Grossman Group, a prominent Chicago-based leadership and communications consultancy. 

The survey results also point to ways to turn more ambivalent and burned-out employees to the thriving side and provide insight for leaders on how to accomplish this. The biggest indicators of thriving for employees and managers are feeling proud of their work, respected at work, motivated to go to work, and feeling supported by senior leadership. 

For example, 61% of employees identified as thriving said they had a manager who was “invested in their success.” Fifty-seven percent of thriving employees felt that their manager was empathetic and 56% said their manager respected work-life boundaries. 

“The responses of employees and managers demonstrate that leaders at all levels have a role to play in creating a stronger culture of thriving. Starting from the top and moving down through the ranks of managers, a focus on well-being should be purposeful and intentional, not left to chance,” Grossman said.