Between the pandemic and the recent economic uncertainties, many business leaders are experiencing executive burnout. A recent report from LifeWorks and Deloitte Canada surveying nearly 1,200 senior leaders from 11 private and public sector organizations revealed a staggering 82 per cent of executives felt burned out, while over half of respondents were considering leaving, retiring, and downshifting.

Unfortunately, many executives are unwilling to address their feelings of burnout. Over half of respondents said they were concerned about professional repercussions if their struggles became apparent. If these issues aren’t addressed soon, many organizations may risk losing many of their executive staff.

Here are some strategies to help reduce executive burnout.

Peer Support

While executives may feel anxious about letting their feelings of burnout be known, reaching out to peers you trust can help. Indeed, nearly 60 per cent of respondents to the survey indicated that work peers helped provide support. However, many peer relationships worsened during the pandemic, increasing feelings of isolation and, in turn, burnout.

As pandemic measures ease, some organizations are welcoming staff back to the office. This should help to re-establish peer relationships that were strained during lockdowns. However, this isn’t the case everywhere. Many organizations have switched to remote or hybrid long term, which can make peer relationships challenging for many executives.

Research recently published in Nature shows that remote work can reduce collaboration, leading work to become more siloed. If hybrid and remote work are to continue, then organizations will need to have discussions around how to break down these silos and boost collaboration—not just for the sake of productivity but to also reduce executive burnout.


Almost 70 per cent of respondents to the LifeWorks and Deloitte survey indicated that the sheer volume of workload was the top source of executive burnout.

Executives have had to navigate transitioning their staff into remote work environments, vaccination policies, and return to the office procedures, just to name a few, all while acting as leaders. Understandably, many executives feel like it’s been one grind after another.

Organizations will need to rethink how they work to improve efficiencies and reduce workloads, freeing up time for executives to catch a breath.

Delegating background checks to third-party providers, for instance, can help streamline the hiring process. Not only will this lighten the workload for executives, but it will also help ensure you’re hiring the best candidates, improving onboarding processes and improving overall organizational performance.

Hiring the right employee in the first place will solve a lot of managerial problems before they ever start.

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