June 8, 2012

Executive Workloads could be Unsustainable

graphExecuNet, a company involved in networking senior-level executives and recrutiers, has concluded its survey of 153 executive recruiters and determined that most senior executives have become overburdened with unsustainable workloads and are likely to leave their current employers once the economy more fully recovers. The survey found that 57 percent of survey respondents rated the workloads of their executives as very high with an additional 25 percent reporting that current loads are the highest they have ever been. Affected companies could face consequences such as increased turnover, plummeting morale, decreased productivity, heightened recruitment challenges when attracting new executives, and employee disengagement.

“What’s clear and convincing from our research is that employers have been under somewhat unprecedented pressures over the past four years, and it may be their executives who are feeling that most acutely,” said Mark M. Anderson, president and chief economist of ExecuNet. “For this reason, companies should look for ways to retain executives and keep them engaged in the short-term while also determining how they can help bring relief to executives who’ve been shouldering too much for too long.”

In response to the impending crisis, 55 percent of survey participants reported that their companies are raising salaries and other forms of compensation for executives in an effort to retain executive talent.

“For the past four years, we’ve seen companies push productivity gains and cost controls to near their limits, and this has exacted a real toll on senior business executives who’ve collectively felt the stress of financial crises, who’ve been forced to make tough decisions and whose time has been almost completely consumed,” continued Anderson. “When the economy improves and finds its way toward sustainable management hiring, we expect many executives will be eager to seek out new career options, including those that would provide more balance between their work and personal lives.”

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Joshua Bjerke, from Savannah, Georgia, focuses on articles involving the labor force, economy, and HR topics including new technology and workplace news. Joshua has a B.A. in Political Science with a Minor in International Studies and is currently pursuing his M.A. in International Security.