61% of Employees Experience Burnout, How Can Companies Change That?

How's Today?
4 min readAug 25, 2020


In a recent survey of employees, CareerBuilder found that, “3 in 5 workers (61 percent) say they are burned out in their current job, and 31 percent report high or extremely high levels of stress at work, yet a third of all workers (33 percent) have not taken or do not plan to take a vacation this year.”

The study goes on to report that, “nearly a third of workers say work causes high or extremely high stress levels for them — an issue that is impacting women (34 percent) more than men (27 percent) — and 79 percent say their company does not offer classes or programs to manage that stress. As a result of stress, workers are experiencing symptoms such as:

  • Being tired all the time: 29 percent
  • Sleepless nights: 26 percent
  • Aches and pains: 24 percent
  • High anxiety: 23 percent
  • Weight gain: 18 percent
  • Can’t keep things straight in your head: 17 percent
  • Anger issues at work: 16 percent
  • Depression: 15 percent
  • High blood pressure: 10 percent
  • Weak immune system: 6 percent
  • Nausea: 5 percent
  • Hair loss: 5 percent

Stress is also impacting areas such as job satisfaction. A third of workers with high levels of stress (33 percent) say they are dissatisfied with their job. Seventeen percent of workers say they are dissatisfied with their job overall.”

If an overwhelming amount of employees — a full 61% — report feeling burnt out, a state that severely impacts both employee health and performance, then something about how companies are run may illuminate an answer as to why.

As any given company can exist in many different industries, capacities or geographies, there likely isn’t a single reason to why so many employees feel burnt out.

How’s Today helps companies figure out how employees feel about their jobs, work environments and management, while also helping keep track of goals and ongoing operations. How’s Today is a digital HR solution that proactively prompts employees about how they feel about their work life, then sends those answers to client dedicated groups of mental health & business management professionals to be processed and forwarded back to management privately as a weekly report of feedback, recommendations and strategies.

If employees feel burnout, it may simply be a misalignment of management’s expectations, and the reality of output that their team can achieve.

Hypothetically, higher level executives could potentially have monetary goals in mind that they need to achieve in order to reach targets set by investors. These goals might then be communicated to management as a directive to work towards with their teams. Given this scenario, a company would be operating solely to reach a number, rather than optimizing an organic goal. They would be working to figure out how to make things that would reach a numerical goal, instead of thinking about what they should do as a company, given their abilities.

Photo by XPS

In this hypothetical, the monetary goal can be viewed as arbitrary because the company operations that would be implemented to achieve it would be created solely to reach a number. Inversely, if a company was to operate in a manner that valued employee feedback and was to figure out how to operate by listening to those who know the company best, daily operations would be centered around building up what works.

Though you can’t survey a hypothetical company, this difference could potentially be a reason why some companies who operate in ways that are obsessed with pre-determined growth schedules might find themselves with employees who feel burnt out or a high turnover rate.

How’s Today sets up an infrastructure for executives to set plan for & set company-wide goals (in collaboration with their client-dedicated How’s Today team), have those communicated to management, then let employees decide how those goals can be best met in conversation with management, all mediated by mental health, management and communication professionals.

Studies show that when a company’s employees feel heard within their organization, they are 4.6x more productive and likely to do their best work. If employees could effectively communicate when they felt burnt out to management, interventions could be set in motion to either lessen workload or otherwise prevent further burnout, or attrition.

By listening to employees, companies can not only invent new product categories, but also gauge and modulate expectations. Businesses can figure out and expand upon what works, and adjust their expectations to what employees can actually achieve.