Two generations conflating their source of income with a series of philosophical concerns has led to pervasive job dissatisfaction across all industries. A little while back, author and correspondent for the Atlantic, Ellen Rupel Shell addressed the issue in a book titled, The Job: Work and its Future in a Time of Radical Change. Primarily, it’s a meditation on the mounting anxiety surrounding employment in America.
Shell believes, this phenomenon is consequenced by an insistence to derive a sense of purpose from the thing that pays our bills-a desire that is especially prevalent amongst Millenials and Gen Zers. In her estimation, when we forget that there’s a difference between “good work and “meaningful work,” our well-being becomes indebted to our careers.
A new meQuilibrium study comprised of 2,000 full-time employees explores the various manifestations and headspaces of work-induced anxiety, dubbing these “burnout zones.” More specifically “Burnout Zones” are the types of employee behavior that are the most susceptible to chronic professional stress.
“Through our research, we uncovered six distinct employee segments based on their burnout risk: Soulful Sufferers, Checked Out, Status Quo, Strivers, Stretched Superstars, and Change Masters,” explains Lucy English, Ph.D., VP Research, meQuilibrium. “Of those surveyed, the two segments at the highest risk of burnout are Strivers and Soulful Sufferers. We see this identification as a valuable tool in understanding employee populations. They tell a revealing story about risk and opportunity.”
This refers to the kind of employees that have trouble adapting to their work environment on account of persistent panic. They worry about how they’re received by their coworkers and executives, they worry about being inadequate specifically in regards to their lack of aptitude to meet tasks that are demanding. On balance, soul sufferers take about 13 sick days a year, and nearly half of them develop depression and anxiety.
Twenty-three percent of “Checked Out” workers are actually managers, even though 60% report having poor problem-solving skills. These professionals are perpetually going through the motions, finding it particularly hard to engage with their work on the day-to-day.
Ninety-four percent of “Status Quos” don’t enjoy “finding and solving problems.” Sixty-four percent report a low connection with work. Generally speaking, these employees don’t like change or spontaneity.
“Stivers” have a 27% increased risk of depression, a 54% increased risk of anxiety, and 66% reported experiencing more negative than positive emotions at their place of employment. Their low-resilience is counterbalanced with an intense growth mindset-welcoming complex task with high agility.
Because “Stretched Superstars” boast positivity, self-confidence, focus, and problem-solving skills, they often bite off more than they can chew. The majority of this group lament a dissolving social life purposed by a toxic fidelity to their work.
“Change Matters” workers. the most ideal of all the burn zones are the least vulnerable to work malaise. Seventy-percent of these professionals observe purpose in their work, and 95% report being comfortable taking on new tasks.
“We can’t totally eliminate stress, which is one of the root causes of burnout, from business — but we can support employees by training them to manage stress better, and address the consequences before they impact business metrics such as revenue and profit,” adds Dr. English. “Our research provides insight into how change is affecting the workforce and which segments of employees are better able to manage disruption and uncertainty.”