Overworked executives could be on the hunt for greener pastures, new research suggests.
A survey by the senior-level executive network ExecuNet found that 57 percent of recruiters rate executive workloads very high, with an additional 25 percent believing it's the highest they’ve ever seen.
The research also found that more than half of executives' current workloads are unsustainable.
Mark Anderson, the president and chief economist of ExecuNet, believes employers will feel significant repercussions for stretching their management leaders too thin for too long.
"Employers have been under somewhat unprecedented pressures over the past four years, and it may be their executives who are feeling that most acutely," he said. "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."
Unexpected departures, morale problems, a decline in productivity, disengaged employees and difficulty in hiring new staff members are just some of the problems that arise from overworking managers, according to 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," Anderson said.
Many companies are attempting to combat the problem of executive departures by offering incentives for them to stay, according to the study. Fifty-five percent of companies are increasing salaries, bonuses and counteroffers to retain executive talent, with 80 percent of CEOs saying they will work harder this year to retain their best talent.
The 20th annual Executive Job Market Intelligence Report was based on surveys of more than 150 executive recruiters.