Employee stress and retention are significant problems for companies as CEOs battle economic struggles of their own at the beginning of 2022. 

The Marcum LLP and Hofstra University School of Business January CEO Survey No. 1, 2022 found 86% of surveyed top executives noted issues with employee retention, with 43% describing it as a "significant concern."

Marcum-Hofstra CEO Survey 2022
Source: Marcum-Hofstra CEO Survey No. 1 2022.

Eighty-six percent of surveyed CEOs report elevated levels of stress in at least some of their employees, while 34% saw high levels in a large number.

Flexible work schedules, time off, and remote work options are among ways employers manage employee burnout and stress. 

Managing Stress

Employers are working to keep employees who are coming to work satisfied, but stress levels are high in most firms nationwide. 

Nearly three-quarters (73%) of CEOs said their company offers assistance to employees experiencing elevated levels of stress.

Almost three-quarters of companies offer assistance to employees experiencing high stress.

More than a quarter of employers offer mental health services either on site or covered through the company health plan. 

Encouraging physical exercise—such as paid gym memberships—is another ways companies are working to address the issue. 

Some CEOs said they are seeing fewer stressed employees when they hire more workers, offer workplace recognition, increase bonuses or salaries, and set clear goals. 

Economic Challenges 

CEO optimism is leveling off as well, according to the study, with less than 10% of leaders continuing to have a “very positive” outlook on the business environment. 

More than half of business leaders said economic concerns influence business planning the most. Availability of talent and rising material and operational costs followed behind as the top three influencers. 

CEOs also believe that controlling inflation remains the largest task for the Federal Reserve. 

More business leaders now say they cannot escape rising costs.

While CEOs have seen the impacts for some time, the latest survey finds more business leaders fear they cannot escape rising costs. 

More than 31% of companies said they are now passing increased costs to consumers. That is more than double what surveyed employers said they were doing just a few months ago. 

Nearly 20% of CEOs said they are sacrificing their own profit margins.