In COVID's Wake, Burnout and Turnover Are on the Rise


MindEdge/HRCI's Second Annual Survey: HR in the Age of Workplace Uncertainty

As the American economy struggles to recover in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, employee burnout and high staff turnover are emerging as critical challenges for many businesses.

The results of MindEdge and HRCI's second annual joint survey, HR in the Age of Workplace Uncertainty, indicate that many companies are hiring at a faster rate than before the pandemic -- but they must still contend with staffing shortages and employee malaise.

The survey findings show that these are hectic times for Human Resources professionals, who must cope with rising burnout and turnover while simultaneously learning to do their own jobs remotely, and also designing remote or hybrid work structures to accommodate their organizations' long-term needs.

MindEdge/HRCI's national survey of 1,012 experienced HR professionals -- those with an HRCI certification of PHR® or above -- was conducted online on September 9, 2021. 


80% of respondents report an increase in employee burnout in the past year, including 37% who cite a major increase.

Most companies are introducing benefits to help their employees deal with stress ⎼ but most are not providing training to help them handle the challenges of remote work.

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At the same time, a majority of respondents say that employee turnover is higher than before the pandemic and the issue represents a major concern for the future.

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The survey results illustrate two major challenges emerging in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the top chart, 80% of respondents say they have seen an increase in employee burnout during the pandemic; 37% have seen a major increase, while 43% reported a modest increase. Only 14% say that burnout has not increased. Two-of-five (40%) respondents say their organizations have already introduced workplace benefits to help their workers deal with stress, and another 22% say their organizations plan to do so - but 38% are not offering stress-reduction benefits. At the same time, only 28% of respondents say their organizations are providing training in remote work to all employees, while another 11% provide such training to managers and above. Fully 61% of respondents say their organizations do not provide any training in remote work.

In the bottom chart, 20% of respondents say that turnover at their organization is much higher than before the pandemic, and 34% say that turnover is somewhat higher. One-of-three (32%) say that turnover is about the same as pre-pandemic levels, and 8% say that it is lower. On the list of concerns that respondents have about reopening for business, employees' health and safety ranks first, at 28% -- but high turnover ranks second, at 19%. Another 16% of respondents express no concerns at all about reopening.

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