More Than 50% of Managers Feel Burned Out




  • more than half of managers (53%) report feeling burned out at work. This statistic is staggering, and slightly higher than employees in general. (View Highlight)
  • Managers have had to guide their employees through a pandemic and its aftermath, facing situations that have required them to lead with empathy while managing escalating demands with potentially fewer resources — all while receiving little recognition for their efforts. (View Highlight)
  • Early work at Microsoft to learn about burnout among our own managers highlights some areas organizations can focus on as they begin this important work. (View Highlight)
  • Christina Maslach, a pioneer in burnout research, says burnout is a result of continually experiencing stress in the workplace, resulting in exhaustion, cynicism, and a perceived lack of professional accomplishment. (View Highlight)
  • having an unsustainable workload, a perceived lack of control, insufficient rewards for effort, a lack of a supportive community, a lack of fairness, and mismatched values and skills. (View Highlight)
  • Managers today are exhausted from a combination of high workload and limited resources. While all employees can relate to this challenge, managers have the added responsibility of ensuring their team members get what they need to succeed, on top of doing their own work. (View Highlight)
  • As managers adjust and help their teams be impactful in a post-pandemic workplace, they need feedback and support more than ever. Yet based on our research they report receiving less coaching and development for their people management skills, and less recognition from their own managers (View Highlight)
  • At Microsoft, our internal, biannual census focuses specifically on the concept of thriving and how we can help people feel energized and empowered to do meaningful work. To (View Highlight)
  • we found that managers are more likely than individual contributors to experience exhaustion and lack of professional efficacy. We also found managers who manage individual contributors (i.e., front-line managers) are more likely to experience cynicism than managers who manage other managers (i.e., middle managers). As managers climb the organization and as the scope of their roles increase, they feel more meaning and energy from their work which can help reduce cynicism. (View Highlight)
  • we found that experiencing burnout can lead to negative outcomes for the manager and the company, like reduced productivity and turnover. For instance, while self-reported productivity tends to be lower in managers experiencing any single dimension of burnout (View Highlight)
  • Finding ways to connect front-line managers’ work with what matters to them could help buffer potential negative effects of burnout. Managers should reflect on their roles and have open conversations with their leader about what gives them energy and meaning at work, and what detracts from it (View Highlight)
  • Managers and their leader should also consider new projects that might provide a burst of energy at work, have open conversations about what’s needed to accomplish their goals, and be transparent about potential career paths at the company (View Highlight)
  • As a manager, don’t think that you need to hide the fact that you may need help, too. Prepare for your one-on-one’s with your leader and share your prioritization ideas with them to gain their support. Speaking up in a productive way with recommendations and solutions provide space for active dialog and healthy conversations (View Highlight)
  • It is also important to empower managers to care for themselves, or “put their own oxygen masks on first,” before focusing on their teams. When managers focus on themselves first, it not only models the right behaviors, but it also allows them to be more present for their employees (View Highlight)
  • We also provide quick guides on how to set boundaries and respect others’ boundaries, and guides for having these discussions with your teams. Once a manager learns these skills themselves, they have an easier time encouraging their employees to do the same. (View Highlight)