WittKieffer Issues Report and Call to Action on Healthcare Executive Burnout
Significant ink has been spilled on burnout in the healthcare provider ranks. Little, however, has been written about the toll faced by healthcare executives. While not on the front lines, executives are accountable for those who are – and for keeping hospital and clinic doors open for all of us.
In a new WittKieffer report – Burnout in Healthcare Executives: A Call to Action – healthcare leaders reveal just how challenging the past few years have been:
- Nearly three-quarters (74%) of healthcare leaders acknowledged feeling burned out within the prior six months.
- 93% feel that burnout is negatively impacting their organizations.
Even more striking, those feeling burned out:
- Are much less hopeful about the future of healthcare leadership (47% vs. 88%);
- Feel significantly less productive at work;
- Feel much less determined to make an impact in their work and careers.
“Healthcare executives experiencing burnout are really struggling to lead their organizations,” notes WittKieffer senior partner Rachel Polhemus, one of the report’s lead authors. “The discrepancies in how they feel about their own work and their ability to move their organizations forward in challenging times is significant. We saw warning signs prior to the pandemic, but as we shift into the post-Covid era the impact of burnout is crystal clear, as is the imperative to address the problem.”
Burnout in Healthcare Executives: A Call to Action provides constructive, proactive recommendations for how healthcare boards, CEOs and leadership teams can address the burnout crisis – from making burnout an open topic of discussion within organizations to shoring up leadership teams to manage today’s overwhelming workloads.
“We wanted to provide industry leaders with tangible ideas to address executive burnout beyond individual self-care,” states Susan Snyder, managing partner in WittKieffer’s Leadership Advisory services and another of the report’s authors. “There is no easy way to manage and minimize this problem – like all crises, it requires action at multiple levels, including those outside the industry. Counteracting burnout must be done for the sake of those in the midst of it, and on behalf of every human being who depends on healthcare, which is all of us.”