The pandemic has taken a toll on workers around the world. Employees now feel overworked, underpaid, and underappreciated after all of the changes that have taken place over the last two years. While the stress of the pandemic has taken a toll on everyone, HR departments have taken a larger impact than many people realize.
Many HR departments had huge roles in coordinating their company’s transition to remote work while creating guidelines to maintain the same level of workflow prior to the pandemic. These are no small tasks, especially when employees had never experienced a global pandemic before.
Human resource professionals’ responsibilities didn’t end there. They were also responsible for informing their colleagues about pandemic-related layoffs, while also wondering how the pandemic’s economic impact would affect their own position. In the midst of these unprecedented times, HR was who employees looked to for guidance and comfort. But when it came to seeking guidance on their own, many HR professionals felt little-to-no support.
As employees began returning to the office, HR professionals were often the ones to make sure their companies were adhering to the ever-changing vaccine mandates and safety requirements. Each employee’s vaccination status had to be tracked, as well as their time off after exposure to the virus, prior to coming back to the office.
Without having any training to perform these roles, burnout quickly set in amongst HR professionals. In fact, a recent Workvivo study found that 98% of HR professionals are burned out. On top of that, 88% of respondents said they dreaded going to work. The study also found that only 29% of HR professionals feel that their work is valued in their organization.
So, how do we help relieve burnout amongst HR?
- Give HR a seat at the table. For decades, HR professionals have dealt with the feeling of not being heard by executives. C-suites can make HR professionals feel a greater sense of value by giving them a voice when designing the policies. The same policies that HR then has to implement. When employees feel valued, they are more likely to stay.
- Offer remote work and/or flexible hours. Working remotely during the pandemic proved to people that they could be just as productive at home as they were in the office. If your company is able to, offering remote work and flexible hours shows employees that you trust them.
- Implement new technology. People appreciate the convenience of modern technology. Employees expect that their employer will stay up-to-date with technological advancements. HR professionals are no different. By automating workforce management functions, your HR staff can focus more on people and less on paperwork.
Every organization reacts to employee burnout differently. What works for one organization, may not be possible for another. A great place to start is to prioritize your employees by listening to their wants/needs and understanding what they think needs to change within the organization.