Manager burnout is a very real concern for organizations amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Statistics have shown that it is becoming increasingly common in the workplace. At issue is that, while employer and manager burnout are similar, burnout within the manager segment can be threatening to productivity as this group is responsible for leading teams and others. “Managers – particularly middle managers – are in a uniquely precarious position. They’re looking out for their team below while trying to solve problems for the team above,” Click’s Head of Marketing, Michelle Graham, told HR Morning recently. “And all of this is done simultaneously,” she said.
Middle managers worldwide are suffering burnout and the pandemic has only worsened this. The stats don’t lie. According to HR Morning:
- 66% suffer from burnout.
- 76% are overwhelmed.
- 59% feel overworked.
- 72% feel increased pressure to deliver.
- 59% are working longer hours.
- 84% internalize fault for high employee burnout.
- 91% are having trouble working remotely, compared to individuals and executives.
- 89% of HR executives agree managers must lead with empathy in a hybrid model, but investments in managers are floundering.
- 68% of HR leaders agree the hybrid work model responsibilities are overwhelming for managers, but only 14% of companies took action to reduce manager responsibilities.
Additionally, only 60% of managers said they felt as if they could manage their workload. Since the pandemic hit, burnout has become such a prominent issue that the World Health Organization (WHO) labeled it as an “occupational phenomenon,” HR Morning noted. And manager burnout is only getting worse. The problem is that leaders within organizations are not bringing their problems to executives. “Why? Because they don’t have time to breathe. And if they don’t have time to breathe, how are they supposed to create meaningful experiences for employees? They can’t,” Graham said. “As a result, they’re looking up and down. But they’ve lost all sight of their own satisfaction, growth and balance.”
As a result, many are considering exiting their jobs. So what can you do to reduce manager burnout?
Connecting managers with tools and technologies that allow them to manage their staff is one step. Alleviating the pressure by equipping managers with the resources that enable them to no longer worry about manual check-ins can make a massive difference. This includes implementing a good online leave management system that takes away the stress of having to track leave manually. This can be an unnecessarily overwhelming and stressful task that contributes to manager burnout. Manually managing the leave process involves paperwork and most importantly time that can be spent on other tasks. An online leave management system is an important part of any company that takes care of all of this for you.
It is also essential to manage your managers. They need to feel as if they are continuously developing in their work and overall lives, which is why it is vital that you have coaching conversations with their managers just as they are expected to do with their employees.
Organizations need to address the five aspects of employee wellbeing — career, social, financial, physical and community — to reduce burnout and stress as well as depression and anxiety. This applies to managers as well. Through the right strength-based conversations about work and overall wellbeing, organizations can positively influence the overall lives of their managers.