CPS HR Consulting

Strategies to Prevent HR Burnout: Nurturing Empathy and Wellness in the Workplace

HR burnout is a significant issue in the workplace. A 2022 survey showed that 97% of HR employees are emotionally exhausted. While 73% don’t believe they have the resources or tools to do their jobs.

Many feel their organization has unrealistic recruiting goals, lack of support, and assembly-line thinking. With burnout at a high level, it doesn’t just affect the individual; it can hurt the agency as a whole.

Since burnout often impacts productivity, engagement and job satisfaction, proactively addressing it fosters a healthy and supportive work environment. When employees thrive, the organization does too.

Here are our top tips and strategies for preventing HR burnout in the workplace.

Understanding HR Burnout: Recognizing the Signs and Symptoms

HR employees play a pivotal role in an organization, which often means they handle many things, including:

  • Emergencies
  • Managing daily administrative and recruiting tasks
  • Juggling multiple deadlines
  • Shuffling meetings and schedules around
  • And much more

Being overworked or lacking critical resources often leads to burnout or the feeling that the stress of dealing with everything is drowning them.

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Emotion exhaustion or feeling drained
  • Fatigue
  • Decreased job satisfaction
  • Angriness, irritability, not caring, or being sad
  • Abuse of substances like alcohol
  • Physical symptoms such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease
  • Reduced productivity

Prioritizing Self-Care: Practical Wellness Initiatives for HR Professionals

Fostering workplace wellness is critical for creating a positive work environment that increases job satisfaction and productivity.

Helping HR professionals with burnout so they can grow and thrive professionally and personally means they are more effective in their critical roles. It has a significant positive impact on employee retention, job satisfaction and employee relationships.

Promoting self-care is one way to help employees reduce depression, anxiety and stress while improving concentration and increasing energy and happiness.

Tips for promoting self-care and managing stress include:

  • Provide mental health and well-being programs.
  • Offering a variety of benefits and perks like flexible working hours, mental health breaks or days and exercising mindfulness.
  • Encourage self-management so HR professionals can better understand their own weaknesses and strengths so they can make positive changes to improve.
  • Cultivating an environment where people feel free to air their opinions and grievances.
  • Promoting a work-life balance.
  • Tools for managing stress.

Fostering a Supportive Work Environment

A supportive work environment helps all employees feel like they belong and are physically and psychologically safe. It promotes resilience, balance and communication, allowing HR employees to avoid or cope with burnout.

The manager-employee relationship is one of your organization’s best tools for preventing burnout and creating a sense of belonging for a more positive environment. HR managers can provide a psychological buffer so employees feel supported and know the leadership has their back.

Managers can help generate positive work and employee experiences and manage workloads and workplace stress for workers. They remove barriers, facilitate collaboration and set clear expectations, which can help prevent or reverse burnout.

Strategies for creating a supportive work environment include:

  • Providing technologies that allow employees to be more productive, like AI tools, automation and other software or apps.
  • Timing HR calendars around things like performance reviews and compensation planning around seasons that are typically busy.
  • Fostering a sense of community with fun moments and connecting co-workers facing similar problems and challenges.
  • Transparent and open communication to build trust throughout the organization.
  • Provide tools to improve internal communication between employees and management.
  • Nurturing a sense of belonging and a culture that makes HR employees feel valued.

Implementing Work-Life Balance Initiatives

Studies show that employees who said they have a good work-life balance worked 21% harder than those without.

Creating a better work-life balance cultivates healthier relationships between employees and their family and friends. This balance provides much-needed support during the most challenging times. An imbalance between personal and work life can hurt an employee’s mental and physical health.

However, helping HR employees balance work and family can be quite challenging. There is the constant pressure of looming deadlines, responding to emails and completing other tasks even when home. This has almost become an expectation of the job.

Policies and initiatives for helping HR employees find a better work-life balance include:

  • Offering remote and flexible work options to show trust in employees and increase productivity.
  • Reviewing HR professionals’ workloads to ensure organizations aren’t expecting too much and overburdening.
  • Reconsidering unrealistic policies that force employees to use vacation hours or lose them as many times, there aren’t enough team members to use holiday repays and vacation.
  • Encouraging workers to take breaks throughout the day, including walks and a separate breakroom.
  • Promoting the focus on a project rather than the hours it takes to finish, like completing a task or project, instead of working full eight-hour days.

Key Takeaways On Preventing HR Burnout in the Workplace

HR professionals play a critical role in any organization, but managing employees and everything that goes with it can increase burnout and stress. Burnout decreases productivity and morale. Consequently, employees have difficulty focusing which negatively impacts your organization.

But there are ways to reduce or prevent burnout in the workplace, such as prioritizing wellness and self-care, creating a supportive work environment and promoting a better work-life balance. These strategies don’t just help HR employees thrive but the organization as a whole.