HR professionals have a lot on their plates. Wearing multiple hats and dealing with tight deadlines throughout the year can lead to a lot of built-up stress and negative energy. Many HR professionals are susceptible to burnout.
They’re the most underrated team of any organisation and it’s safe to say, they deliver the most important role in any office as they keep their people healthy. However, ‘A study by Workvivo revealed that 98% of HR professionals are burntout. Other data shows that 53% of HR leaders feel overwhelmed and that 42% of teams struggle with burnout and exhaustion,’ as stated in an AIHR article.
The pandemic was not easy on anyone and much of the heavy lifting was also done by the HR teams. They were at the frontline of ensuring a smooth transition, a healthy balance, challenging new rules and regulations and deal with the silent epidemic: ensuring good mental health. There have been other developments as well such as economic slowdown, rising inflation, lay-offs, and uncertainty in the job market. In many companies, HR professionals may also be responsible for supporting the mental health of other employees through programmes and initiatives such as Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) or by working with management to create a supportive work environment.
Long story short: we cannot ignore our HR teams.
Be your own hero!
Yes, it’s as important to hold yourself accountable for your health. The most important matter is to take your own advice and adopt a balanced lifestyle.
Invest in a hobby: Plan your to-do list of life and not just your work life. All the things you looked forward to as a kid. Learning a new language, learning a new art form, travelling etc. Do it and make time for it. Find your own balance.
Find your team: The world does not rest on your shoulders. You don’t have to find the solution to all your problems. It’s okay to seek advice from seniors, from your colleagues, especially your team and if needed, seek out HR friends from other companies for advice! It’s okay to seek guidance, to delegating work, rely on your team, and find your HR community.
Head vs heart: As HRs, we’re often faced with a struggle: whether to decide from the head or the heart and this is when you need to take a step back from the situation! Rome was not built in a day and remember that this is only your job, not your life. Know your stressors – know your challenges and streamline your work.
Celebrate the wins: The token of celebrations you extend to others? Do it for yourself too. Set your own goals and pat your back and celebrate your achievements! And your teams too. Be as generous in praise as you can be, a kind word of encouragement and appreciation goes a long way.
So, what do HRs expect from their organisation?
Some simple & important steps:
Recognise that they need support: The past years have exposed another major challenge: chronic understaffing due to budget cutdowns etc. This has taken a toll on the employees of the company.
Benefits: Many companies offer mental health benefits such as counselling services or access to a mental health hotline. It’s important to encourage employees to speak openly about their mental health and create a safe & supportive work environment.
Promote a healthy work-life balance: Encourage employees to take breaks and time off when needed and promote the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance. A lot of times, companies tend to make it tough or guilt-trip the employees at the time of leave application, stop that NOW!
Investing in developing their skills: It is essential for companies to train their HR departments too. The world is changing dynamically, especially in the tech space. A well-rounded HR practitioner will be able to manoeuvre future challenges and lead the organization efficiently.
Be an ally: All the things the HR must do for themselves? Yes, be an ally to them.
Amid The Great Resignation, the world is challenged with another overwhelming movement, The Great Burnout! The HR teams quitting in these numbers is the biggest red flag and it’s about time we acknowledge their struggle and help them.
This may involve activities such as providing access to mental health resources, creating a culture of openness and support, offering flexible work arrangements, and providing training and education on mental health and self-care – not just to the employees but to the HR teams as well. Simply put, you cannot expect care – if the caregiver is unhealthy. Prioritising the mental health of the HR team and taking steps to support and promote the well-being of their HR employees is imperative.