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Millennials Are Burning Out

Story Highlights

  • Nearly three in 10 millennials are very often or always burned out at work
  • About seven in 10 experience at least some burnout

Even with youth on their side, millennial workers are more likely than workers in older generations to say that they always or very often feel burned out at work.

In a recent Gallup study of nearly 7,500 full-time U.S. employees, 28% of millennials claimed feeling frequent or constant burnout at work, compared with 21% of workers in older generations. An additional 45% of millennial workers say they sometimes feel burned out at work, suggesting that about seven in 10 millennials are experiencing some level of burnout on the job.

Although job burnout is not inevitable and there are many things organizations can do to decrease the chances of it happening, the numbers suggest that there is a crisis in how workers are managed.

Burnout at work harms health and relationships. Employees who are very often or always burned out are 63% more likely to take a sick day, 23% more likely to visit the emergency room and more than twice as likely to strongly agree that the demands of their job interfere with their family life.

Not surprisingly, burned-out employees are nearly three times as likely to leave their current employer.

The bottom line: Today's typical workplace is chronically grueling, especially for the millennial generation. The majority of full-time U.S. workers experience burnout sometimes, very often or always -- and it's having a negative effect on their health, families and career development.

If organizations want to win the war for talent and become millennial magnets, Gallup recommends taking these actions:

  • Turn your managers into coaches who care. Employees whose manager is always willing to listen to their work-related problems are 62% less likely to be burned out. Additionally, millennials say they want more feedback -- but only 17% of them strongly agree they receive routine or meaningful feedback from their manager.
  • Constantly reinforce how your employees' work changes the world. Employees are less likely to be burned out when they can connect their work to their company's mission and purpose. And working for an organization with a mission and purpose is especially important to millennials.
  • Give your employees as much autonomy and flexibility as you can. Employees are 43% less likely to experience high levels of burnout when they have a choice in deciding what tasks to do, when to do them and how much time to spend on them.

Go deeper: See Gallup's recent articles on the root causes of burnout, and what managers and organizational leaders can do to reverse it.

Take a closer look at what Gallup recommends for better management and reducing burnout:


Ryan Pendell is a Senior Workplace Science Editor at Gallup.

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