ATD Research Organizations Look for Creative Solutions for Employee Engagement and Burnout

Nearly 60 percent of organizations have increased their efforts to boost employee engagement since early 2020. According to ATD’s new research report, Employee Engagement and Burnout: Maintaining Morale in Changing Times, there continues to be room to improve engagement and ease employee burnout.

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Nearly 75 percent of talent development professionals indicated that employee engagement is important to their organization. Strategies that organizations use to maintain or boost employee engagement include formal training or development opportunities (71 percent), employee recognition programs (65 percent), or social activities (59 percent).

According to the report, “organizations that offered more than four engagement initiatives were also significantly more likely to be high performers. Therefore, organizations should consider providing an array of resources to engage their employees.”

Although organizations are increasing efforts to boost employee engagement, 55 percent of respondents reported that employees in their organizations were burned out. According to the survey, the top three reasons for burnout are lack of control over projects and workload (89 percent), poor communication from leaders and managers (86 percent), and a lack of role clarity (76 percent).

Though many employees continue to feel burned out, organizations are trying to prevent it. Many organizations promote wellness initiatives, with 80 percent encouraging employees to take time off or use paid time off (PTO), and taking time off is often or always accepted at 59 percent of organizations.

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Other key findings include:

  •     Key indicators of employee engagement include recommending the organization to others as a good place to work (66 percent), speaking positively about the organization (63 percent), and high scores on engagement-related survey questions (61 percent).
  •     40 percent of respondents said employee engagement is integral to their success strategy.
  •     90 percent of respondents measured engagement at their organization.

Recommendations in the report’s action plan include:

  •     Using multiple measures to assess employee engagement
  •     Offering a variety of initiatives to boost or maintain employee engagement
  •     Developing managers and leaders to coach and engage employees

ATD Research fielded an electronic survey to talent development professionals between December 2022–January 2023. Participants from 424 organizations completed the survey. Survey participants represented a variety of industries from across the globe.

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