The majority of people mistakenly thought life would reset to pre-COVID norms when it finally trickled down to a manageable status. But, it seems COVID has left the whole world emotionally exhausted, especially the workforce.
Massive shutdowns laid off thousands of people who now had to learn how to live from day to day instead of week to week. No one knew then that returning to the daily 9-5 grind was as unlikely as returning to pre-COVID normal for many people.
So began "The Great Resignation," or as experts now say, "The Great Reshuffle." Either way, the result is an HR nightmare. The magnitude of the Great Resignation and the large-scale transitioning of entire workplace structure and cultures has left HR departments under-resourced and under immense pressure.
As a manager, you have spent the last two years finding solutions to new challenges, setting up remote operations, learning how to comply with vaccine mandates and overseeing health and safety protocols to maintain a safe workplace, all while tending to vacation requirements and recruiting and hiring new employees.
It's no surprise that HR professionals and leaders are experiencing burnout. According to a SHRM survey of 726 HR practitioners, 42% struggle with too many projects and responsibilities.
The struggle is real, and you fight it daily.
Signs of Burnout – (TIP: Only light one end of the candle)
Working in a position that ensures others are cared for mentally, emotionally, physically or even just generally means your compassion and empathy are front and center daily.
People in supporting roles, without respite from the draining effects of dealing with people's pain and sadness, develop compassion fatigue. It is a common experience for people who work in the helping professions, such as nurses, teachers, HR professionals and social workers.
It occurs when an individual reaches a point of diminished capacity to empathize or care about others due to the constant exposure to other's pain.
Continuing in that cycle leads to burnout and sometimes long-term health problems.
You can stay in love with your job if you recognize the signs and practice good self-care before you become overworked and exhausted.
4 signs of burnout
Questioning Your Sanity – Mental exhaustion is synonymous with forgetfulness, brain fog and inability to concentrate or make decisions. It's an indicator that your mental energy has reached capacity and a problem needs to be solved.
Slug Running - Also known as "getting by," is a sign you have lost your passion for your work. You may find it difficult to feel interested in your job or the employees you look forward to helping every day. Sometimes this carries over into your home life, and you no longer have the energy for things you once enjoyed.
The "Hate My Life" Syndrome – Helplessness runs a close second to hopelessness in that both leave you feeling things will always be as they are now.
Using your positive energy day after day to ward off the negativity coming at you from every direction is exhausting. Eventually, it will seem there is no way out, and there is nothing you can do to make it better.
sick Of Being Sick – Your emotional and mental well-being are strongly connected to your physical health. When your well-being
is broken, your sleep is disrupted. Inadequate sleep causes its own health problems (like weakening your immune system) and leaves you little energy to care for yourself through proper diet and exercise.
Watch a webinar on burnout, one of the many webinars
we provide to our client organizations. Enjoy!
With HR burnout at an all-time high, companies need to find a better way to support you and your HR teams. Organizations need to find out what HR needs to do its best work to help employees and prioritize meeting those needs.
If you have reached the burnout stage, you are far from alone. According to HRE's annual "What's Keeping HR Up at Night" survey, a whopping 86% of human resources managers say their stress has increased in the last year—44% say their stress levels have increased "dramatically." In contrast, 11% say their stress has stayed the same, and just 3% say stress has decreased in the past year.
HR is "the place where stress
goes to live in an organization,"
-Sharon Kittredje VP Agora
Coming Back From (or preventing) burnout –
You can feel it when it rears its ugly head. The early burnout stage leaves you with a general sense of dissatisfaction and fatigue. Pay attention to those feelings and act if they don't improve within three or so days. Contact your organization's EAP for tools and resources. Contact us we can help.
You would never ignore these symptoms in an employee, so treat yourself with the same care and compassion and counter the stress with good self-care techniques.
Creating meaningful boundaries can be tricky. So, how can leaders set boundaries that will positively impact the team?
An article written by the One2One team states four ways to make boundaries meaningful:
5 WAYS TO fight the good fight
Learning skills for managing stress – Good self-care can counteract even the worst days. The options are endless and depend on what you enjoy doing. Skills like meditation, mindfulness, exercise, discussion groups and journaling are helpful, as is learning to prioritize your workload better, so you are less stressed.
Not Letting the Dogs (or kids) Out – What you keep in is just as important as what you keep out. Set boundaries so you can keep your home and work life separate. Boundaries are important, especially when you are working from home. Set office hours and stick to them.
Sharing the Load – It would be highly unusual if your workload hasn't doubled over the last two years. In the early pandemic days, it was a likely and unfortunate necessity. However, workloads should now be stabilizing as companies formalize their new policies and procedures and implement them into the work culture. It's an excellent time to hire or train someone to take the overload.
Asking for a Relief Pitcher - Some people seem to have difficulty asking for help (maybe it's a guy thing?). They will continue struggling, determined to beat the odds, even if it kills them.
Remember, asking for help isn't an all-or-nothing offer. Support comes in many forms, so if it meets a need, it's the correct answer.
UtILIZE YOUR ORGANIZATION'S EAP - USE IT, TALKING HELPS.
You are a valuable asset to your organization. Losing HR leaders is incredibly challenging for organizations that task them with hiring, onboarding and retaining workers.
Taking care of yourself allows you to be available to help others when they need it.
What's the saying? “Slow and steady wins the race.” Pace yourself and know your limitations.
When you partner with Ulliance, our Life Advisor Consultants are always just a phone call away to teach ways to enhance your work/life balance and increase your happiness. The Ulliance Life Advisor Employee Assistance Program can help employees and employers come closer to a state of total well-being.
Investing in the right EAP or Wellness Program to support your employees will help them and help you. Visit https://ulliance.com/ or call 866-648-8326.
The Ulliance Employee Assistance Program can address the
• Stress about work or job performance
• Crisis in the workplace
• Conflict resolution at work or in one’s personal life
• Marital or relationship problems
• Child or elder care concerns
• Financial worries
• Mental health problems
• Alcohol/substance abuse
• Interpersonal conflicts
• AND MORE!
ADIKA, S. (22, March 14). Burnout Is a Problem for HR Professionals. Retrieved from SHRM: https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/spring2022/pages/hr-practitioners-are-coping-with-burnout.aspx
Mayer, K. (2022, February 24). Burnout and resignations are rampant in HR. What leaders need to know. Retrieved from Human Resource Executive: https://hrexecutive.com/burnout-and-resignations-are-rampant-in-hr-what-leaders-need-to-know/
Pavlou, C. (2022, May). Why do more and more HR professionals suffer from burnout? Retrieved from efront: https://www.efrontlearning.com/blog/2022/04/hrburnout.html#:~:text=%20Fighting%20HR%20burnout%20%201%20Set%20boundaries.,during%20the%20early%20days%20of%20the...%20More%20