Nearly 70% of C-suite executives said they’re seriously considering leaving their companies in favor of a role that better supports their well-being, according to research by Deloitte and Workplace Intelligence. Compare that to 57% of the workers surveyed that are seriously considering a job change.
In addition, 81% of your fellow C-suite pros say that right now improving their well-being is more important to them than advancing their career.
Some key contributors to C-suite burnout that the survey found:
- 95% of execs agree that they should be responsible for employees’ well-being, yet 68% admit that they’re not doing enough to safeguard employee and stakeholder health
- 73% report that their job doesn’t allow them to take time off from work and disconnect
- One out of four said they don’t disconnect because their workload would become unmanageable and almost that many (24%) are afraid of missing important messages or emails, and
- Around one in three “always” or “often” feel exhausted, stressed, overwhelmed, lonely or depressed.
This indicates that business leaders are sacrificing their own well-being while trying to support the well-being of their workforce.
What C-suite burnout looks like
Warning signs of C-suite burnout can include the following:
- A lot of unplanned 4 a.m. wake up times to start the workday or having issues sleeping more than seven hours
- Pushing through tasks even though they’re visibly fatigued and stressed – a sign of an over-ambitious workload
- Certain problems keep recurring, indicating the person may not have the space, support or concentration to resolve and act on the issue
- They can’t easily answer the questions “What are you doing for exercise?” or “What are you doing for fun?”
- Behavior that’s out of character for that person, such as irritability, lack of patience, excessive self-criticism, blaming others, forgetfulness, etc., and
- Noticeable changes to physical appearance like weight gain or puffy eyes.
Any combination of these could be a signal that health-conscious adjustments need to be made to someone’s working habits.
These warning signs could also be an indication that the C-suite as a whole needs a refresher on the importance of well-being and its impact on long-term company success. If the top brass isn’t functioning to the best of their ability, every employee in your organization could potentially suffer, either directly or indirectly.
CFOs and burnout
A separate study from DataRails found that 83% of CFOs are feeling stressed out. And outdated systems may be partly to blame.
As a result of manual overload from multiple versions of reports, fixing errors and chasing data, CFOs say they:
- spend less time with family and friends (48%)
- are dissatisfied with their job performance (37%), and
- get bored at work (31%).
If this sounds like you, it may be time to start looking at automation fintech solutions for your company as a way to boost efficiency, save time and reduce stress.
Also keep in mind that delegating some tasks to your Finance team to reduce your workload is always an option. After all, delegation is a recognized tool of effective leaders.
Culture of well-being
Other enlightening statements in the Deloitte study: C-suite leaders say that it’s important for them to see other leaders taking care of their well-being (84%) and that seeing this would motivate them to improve their own well-being (82%).
Leading by example is one of the best ways to improve your workforce’s culture from the top down.
Some examples to set to help turn C-suite burnout around:
- Taking microbreaks during the workday to improve focus and clarity
- Starting and stopping work at a reasonable time
- Working 40 or fewer hours a week
- Avoiding sending a late-night or weekend email
- Encourage using paid vacation time, and
- Take a lunch break of at least 30 minutes.
Another solid strategy is promoting wellness at work by encouraging:
- adequate sleep
- healthy life practices (exercise, balanced diet, etc.), and
- dedicating time to activities that provide happiness.
Not only can encouraging these behaviors boost the well-being of your leadership peers, but it can also positively impact the well-being of the rest of your workforce. This can improve employee productivity and retention rates, and reduce costly turnover. Sixty-two percent of workers would be more likely to stay with their company if it better supported their well-being, according to the Deloitte study.
Your company may already offer physical and mental health benefits, but your leadership and employees may need a little nudge to use them. It could also be time to improve or expand your organization’s well-being benefits. Offering unique benefits that support all aspects of employees’ lives can be key to cultivating a healthier, happier workforce by reducing burnout and stress.