American workers are no strangers to stress in the workplace. Poor work-life balances, lack of career growth, over-loaded schedules and, more recently, global pandemics all contribute to burdens too difficult to bear. But many employers aren’t providing the support employees so clearly need to manage the accompanying stress, resulting in high rates of burnout among American workers.

In our recent Mental Health Survey, a staggering 71% of employees said they’ve experienced burnout and over half said they experience stress at least once a week.

According to the WHO, burnout is an occupational phenomenon resulting from chronic unmanaged stress. And it’s having a direct impact on employers’ bottom lines.

When many Americans spend about a third of their lives at work, it’s critical that employers take on a more active and deliberate role in their employees’ wellbeing. Yet our data shows that employers either aren’t considering it or aren’t equipped to provide the support employees so desperately need—less than 40% of employers aren’t providing resources or support to manage stress.

While stress and burnout may seem par for the course in most American workplaces, it should be considered anything but.

According to the American Institute of Stress, the top contributors to stress are unmanaged workloads, people issues and a lack of work-life balance. The common thread here? A lack of employer-led support or awareness around mental wellbeing. And our data supports it.

Some fast stats:

  • Over 50% of employees said their employer hasn’t given them any information about mental health.
  • Healthcare, media, food service, finance and engineering have the highest rates of burnout.
  • Over half of employees across all industries we covered reported experiencing burnout; social services came in the lowest at 57%.
  • Only 20% of respondents have used telehealth or similar virtual options for mental health therapy.
  • Feeling overwhelmed, irritation, anger and headaches are the top symptoms burnt-out employees experience.
  • Needing the money and having too much work to do were among the top reasons employees said they didn’t take time off to destress.

In today’s climate especially, employers need to deliver benefits and resources that support more than just our physical wellbeing—mental wellbeing needs to play a much larger role in benefits, workplace culture and people management.

However, establishing those changes isn’t as simple as adding additional mental health and wellness to existing benefits plans—the changes also need to happen in day-to-day operations, from benefits communications to desk-side culture.

Ready to make mental wellbeing a priority for employees? We put together a tip sheet outlining 6 strategies to help combat stress and burnout in the workplace.

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