“Strivers” and “Soulful Sufferers” Are at Highest Risk for Work Burnout, Says New meQuilbrium Research

Some Workers Are Better Equipped to Handle Change, Others Are in the Burnout Zone

BOSTON, MA (August 22, 2019) – meQuilibrium research found that burnout is a common problem in the workplace, with 25% of survey respondents at high risk for burnout. Burnout has massive implications for companies – those in the burnout zone have poor problem-solving skills, a higher risk of anxiety and depression, are unable to respond to change, and have significantly greater absences from work. In its study of 2,000 full-time employed adults, meQuilibrium determined that 44% of those with low resilience and low agility were at high risk for burnout vs. 6% of respondents with high resilience and agility.

“Through our research, we uncovered six distinct employee segments based on their burnout risk: Soulful Sufferers, Checked Out, Status Quo, Strivers, Stretched Superstars, and Change Masters,” says Lucy English, Ph.D., VP Research, meQuilibrium. “Of those surveyed, the two segments at highest risk of burnout are Strivers and Soulful Sufferers. We see this identification as a valuable tool in understanding employee populations. They tell a revealing story about risk and opportunity.”

Left unchecked, burnout can wreak havoc on health, happiness, job performance and relationships. Identifying the root causes and types of burnout that employees experience can help organizations target specific problem areas, and then work to reduce employee stress. Building resilience, agility, emotion control and self-awareness helps protect against burnout in the workplace.

To help determine who is equipped to handle change, as well as who is at high risk for burnout, absences from work, behavioral health problems and work performance issues, meQuilibrium has developed this guide to the burnout zones:


Soulful Sufferers are among the most fragile employees – caring people who are struggling to be adaptive, and worrying about relationships and work. Their low resilience and agility causes them to be frequently absent (13 sick days a year). 70% of Soulful Sufferers report a high sense of pressure and they face a 49% risk of depression and anxiety.

Checked Out workers are just going through the motions in life and work. 88% report having no empathy and 60% have low problem-solving skills. Checked Out respondents are highly stressed about work and money and 23% of them are managers.

Status Quos don’t extend a great deal of effort to learn, adapt to new people or improve well-being. They like it the way things are, and have no desire to change. 63% report a low connection to work and 94% do not enjoy finding and solving everyday challenges.

Strivers have high agility but low resilience, which puts them at the highest risk for burnout. Strivers have a growth mindset, which means they are brimming with untapped potential but their low resilience gives them a 27% increased risk of depression, a 54% increased risk of anxiety, and 66% reported experiencing more negative than positive emotions.

Stretched Superstars possess positivity, self-confidence, focus, problem-solving skills, and empathy, which make them feel like they can do it all. However, The vast majority of Stretched Superstars report time and work conflicts, which drag on their full potential.

Change Masters possess a combination of high adaptivity and strong resilience skills, which help prevent burnout. They have the cool, calm and collected attitude to manage stress and challenges, while still embracing innovation and delivering high performance. 75% of Change Masters see purpose in their work and 91% report strong problem-solving skills.


“We can’t totally eliminate stress, which is one of the root causes of burnout, from business—but we can support employees by training them to manage stress better,  and address  the consequences before they impact business metrics such as revenue and profit,” says Dr. English. “Our research provides insight into how change is affecting the workforce and which segments of employees are better able to manage disruption and uncertainty.”

To learn more about the burnout zone and find out who is at risk, download the free meQuilibrium burnout eBook and infographic.


About meQuilibrium
meQuilibrium is the engagement, performance and human capital solution that harnesses behavioral psychology, AI, predictive analytics and neuroscience to help innovative businesses build workforce potential. With meQuilibrium, companies can equip each employee to discover and master skills they need to overcome any obstacle, increase agility, gain adaptive capacity, and transform the organization. Learn more at http://www.meQuilibrium.com.


Editor’s Note:

If you use any of this material, please include this link.

Dr. Lucy English is available for interview and to provide an article on the subject of burnout.


Source: PR Newswire