Employees in Ireland are suffering from burnout and stress more often than those in other European countries and are the least likely to be “thriving”. This is according to research from Workhuman which found that 3 in 10 employees in Ireland report being burnt out “very often” or “always”, on par with the U.K. and Belgium.
All other countries surveyed were found to have lower levels of employee burnout. Just 1.5 in 10 in Switzerland say they are burnt out “very often” or “always”. Gallup carried out the large-scale study among more than 12,000 employees in 11 European countries and the U.S. which paints a worrying picture of employee wellbeing in Ireland.
The research found that workers in Ireland are the most likely of all countries surveyed to report being stressed, with 6.5 in 10 saying they experienced stress during “a lot” of the previous day. Along with Belgium, the same figure reported to have experienced worry for a lot of the previous day. Again, this was more than all other countries surveyed, with respondents in the U.S. the least likely to experience worry a lot of the previous day.
Meanwhile, just 4.5 in 10 employees in Ireland, Belgium and Norway are “thriving” — meaning that they rate their current lives positively and have optimistic expectations for their future wellbeing. Respondents in all other countries are more likely to be thriving, with six in 10 in the Netherlands and Denmark describing themselves as thriving.
Workhuman and Gallup’s research found that the majority of employees in Ireland are unlikely to feel strong connections with their colleagues or feel a sense of belonging in their workplace. Just two in 10 strongly agree that they have meaningful connections with their coworkers, while 2.5 in 10 strongly agree that they belong at their organisation.
Despite the concerning responses from employees in Ireland, the study revealed insights into how gratitude is helping organisations in Ireland to positively influence employee wellbeing. It found that when employees strongly agree that recognition is equitably distributed at their organisation, they are 72% more likely to be thriving and 75% less likely to be burnt out “very often” or “always”.
Meanwhile, employees working at organisations with a recognition programme are 53% more likely to be thriving and 51% more likely to strongly agree that they have meaningful connections at work. Giving thanks was also found to boost morale. The survey found that employees who give recognition at least a few times a month are 84% more likely to be thriving and 3.5 times more likely to strongly agree that they have meaningful connections at work.
Commenting on the research, SVP Global Human Experience at Workhuman, Niamh Graham said, "Organisations in Ireland are facing a people crisis. At a time when they are battling to recruit and retain the best talent, their workforces are burnt out, highly stressed and feeling disconnected from their coworkers and company. Wellbeing is not just important to individuals; it is critical to organisational culture and business outcomes. Its absence comes with a serious price tag, as it hinders employee productivity and engagement, while also leading to high turnover rates."
She added, "Our research shows that showing appreciation and gratitude and something as simple as saying ‘thanks’ can have an enormous impact both on the recipient and the giver. Businesses today must cater to the whole person and make recognition a formal part of their human capital strategy."