44 per cent of U.K. workers admit that they don’t feel in control – an increase of 30 per cent in just four years. A similar number of U.K. workers – 45 per cent – confess there are times they’ve felt like running away. These findings from O.C. Tanner’s 2022 Global Culture Report analysed the perspectives of over 38,000 employees and leaders from 21 countries around the world, including over 2,500 from the U.K.

With such a dramatic increase in employees feeling out of control, together with high levels of mood swings, this indicates that workplace stress is on the rise. In fact, 57 per cent of U.K. workers confess to feeling miserable for no reason and 60 per cent are experiencing frequent ‘ups and downs’ in their mood.

“We’re witnessing higher levels of stress than ever before, with burnout, in which workers feel utterly exhausted and overwhelmed, an increasing concern”, says Robert Ordever European MD of workplace culture expert, O.C. Tanner. “Tackling the causes of stress and burnout must be urgently addressed to avoid broken company cultures.”

O.C. Tanner highlights the link between a negative company culture and increased incidents of burnout, with organisations that lack purpose, are slow to recognise achievements, have poor social connections and don’t practice modern leadership more likely to experience high levels of burnout. In fact, burnout increases by 664 per cent when employees have weak connections to their colleagues.

Ordever says, “Leaders must become mentors and lead with compassion, finding ways to connect their people to organisational purpose, their accomplishments and each other, thereby strengthening workplace culture and employee wellbeing. There’s a direct link between organisations that have a strangulation hold over their people and high levels of burnout – by controlling workers and not giving them opportunities to thrive, stress becomes inevitable.”

O.C. Tanner’s report reveals that when employees feel less connected to their workplace, culture and purpose, burnout increases by 11 times. And it’s not just levels of burnout that are impacted, the likelihood of great work falls by 90 per cent and employees are six times’ more likely to leave the organisation within three years.

Ordever adds, “These findings need to be a wake-up call to organisations that are experiencing high levels of stress and burnout. Leaders can’t stand by and ignore the facts. Failure to repair broken cultures will simply see burnout and staff turnover levels escalate. And so finding ways to bring employees together, while nurturing a compassionate and recognition-led culture with an inspirational purpose at its heart, must take priority.”