Every year, millions of Americans face the reality of living with a mental illness. May is Mental Health Awareness Month — an opportunity to fight the stigma surrounding mental health, educate people and advocate for policies that help people with mental health issues.
And that's why we're using this platform to talk about something very important - the mental health of HR professionals across the globe.
According to a recent study conducted by Workvivo, 98% of HR professionals have felt burnout in the past six months, with 88% dreading work. Today, 78% of HR professionals are open to leaving their jobs because of the toll that it's taking on their mental health.
So why are HR professionals experiencing burnout?
HR professionals have been on the front lines since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, ensuring business-as-usual, maintaining the various HR functions, and dealing with challenges and responsibilities they weren't prepared for. All that additional work amid a global crisis has taken a toll on HR professionals worldwide. In fact, according to research, 67% of People professionals said that the increased unexpected workload is one of the key factors behind their exhaustion.
But that's not all. HR teams are also facing hiring and retention challenges because of The Great Resignation. With people quitting in large numbers, they are under extreme pressure to process exits and quickly hire new talent to fill the gaps.
Further, the shift to remote and hybrid work has made HR much more complex. Not only do HR teams have to help their workforce with the transition, but they must also be able to adapt the various HR functions to support a hybrid/remote work environment.
Who's taking care of HR?
HR leaders are tasked with supporting the mental and emotional health of employees across business units. However, finding the space and resources to tend to their own emotional wellness is challenging. When HR professionals are experiencing burnout, they are not getting the support they need and are not in the space to help other employees do their jobs effectively.
And so, to help HR teams deal with burnout, we've listed out a few valuable tips:
- It's okay to take breaks. Use your lunch break to relax and catch a breath, make the best use of your vacation time, and step away from the computer when you know you're getting overwhelmed. Doing this will only help you recharge and come back stronger.
- Identify the root cause of your stress. Take some time to reflect on what is causing you anxiety, why it's doing so, and what factors are contributing to it. Once you've figured that out, find resources and ways to help you manage that stress.
- Recognize your accomplishments, no matter how small or big they may be. More often than we realize, we're beating ourselves up about the things that didn't go right rather than celebrating the things that did. Focus on the positives, even if it's sometimes hard to.
- Don't set unrealistic goals. Don't set a deadline of two days for a task that usually takes at least 4 days to complete. If you're constantly setting unrealistic goals that you cannot accomplish, you'll burn out very quickly.
- Use a task management system to help you stay on top of things. Organizing your workload allows you to stay focused, deliver on time, and feel more confident about getting the job done. It also reduces overthinking, giving you more time to focus on the task at hand.
- Focus on what you can control. You cannot control how people behave, think, or act. However, what you can control is your performance at work and how you react to situations. Ignore the white noise.
- Stop striving for perfection. Rather than focusing on getting something absolutely perfect, put your efforts into simply doing your best. Throwing perfection out the window will help you be kinder to yourself and relieve some of that pressure.
- Ask for what you need, and don't be ashamed. This could mean time off, more flexibility in your role, or even access to mental health resources. If it can help you be good at your job and prevent you from experiencing burnout, don't hesitate to ask for it.
And that's all our tips!