A recent article in HR Magazine had the title: HR sleep worse than most occupations, study finds. We are hard to find HR professionals that disagree. HR’s mental health is a topic of major concern.
Human Resources professionals are the backbone of many companies, ensuring the smooth functioning of organizational processes and the well-being of employees. But what happens when the caretakers themselves face mental health challenges? Recent studies have highlighted the growing concerns regarding HR mental health, and it’s crucial to address them head-on.
The Unsettling Reality of HR Mental Health
The Overwhelming Stress Levels
As highlighted by a report from Nivati, a shocking 79% of HR professionals reported experiencing high job stress in 2019. This number saw a staggering rise to 90% in 2021, primarily propelled by the global pandemic. The day-to-day responsibilities of managing colleagues’ personal crises have resulted in significant emotional strain, leading to terms like “compassion fatigue” and “burnout” becoming all too familiar in the HR lexicon.
The Pandemic’s Amplifying Effect on HR Mental Health
The pandemic hasn’t just been a health crisis; it’s profoundly affected the mental well-being of HR professionals. According to SHRM, the pandemic exacerbated the already prevalent issue of burnout among HR personnel. The shift to remote work, while necessary, introduced new recruitment and engagement challenges, further straining resources.
Anxiety on the Rise
HRMorning draws attention to another concerning trend: the rise of workplace anxiety. This anxiety doesn’t just affect productivity; it has profound implications for overall well-being. Alarmingly, even with employer-sponsored healthcare access, a significant number of employees remain untreated, leading to staggering productivity losses estimated at $47.6 billion.
5 Ways HR Professionals Can Counter Burnout and Stress
To support our HR professionals, here are five actionable strategies to combat burnout and stress:
- Prioritize Self-Care: Regular breaks, meditation sessions, and dedicated “me-time” can work wonders in rejuvenating one’s mind.
- Seek Professional Help: Consider counseling or therapy sessions. Sometimes, talking to an expert can provide clarity and coping mechanisms.
- Set Boundaries: Clearly define work hours, especially in a remote setting. Ensure you disconnect from work post these hours to maintain a work-life balance.
- Stay Connected: Foster connections with peers and colleagues. Sharing concerns and discussing challenges can help reduce the feeling of isolation.
- Professional Development: Engage in workshops focused on stress management and emotional intelligence. Equip yourself with tools to better handle workplace challenges.
The mental health of HR professionals is paramount, not just for the individuals but for the holistic health of organizations. Recognizing the signs of stress, burnout, and anxiety, and proactively addressing them, is the need of the hour. By implementing these strategies and fostering a supportive environment, we can ensure our HR professionals remain at the top of their game, mentally and emotionally.
- Nivati: “What is Driving HR Burnout and How Companies Can Take Care of HR”
- SHRM: “Burnout Is a Problem for HR Professionals”
- HRMorning: “Anxiety at work: HR’s role in supporting employee mental health”