In the process of keeping employees happy, employers often forget to consider the state of its facilitators, the ones who ensure that everything happens smoothly — the HR!
HR Managers have a lot on their plate, donning multiple hats at a time — working with tight deadlines, recruiting new talent, devising ways to retain that talent, dealing with a disengaged workforce, and a lot more! Managing these day-to-day challenges can take a toll on them, which if left unchecked, can lead to a burnout!
A survey from the Society of Human Resource Management found that two-thirds reported feeling a bit burned out and four-fifths characterized their pace of work as fast or too fast.
Before figuring out how to deal with a burnout, let us first list down the tell-tale signs of one!
Look Out For These Signs Of A Burnout!
First and foremost, you need to recognize burnout, before it goes out of control. Here are some signs:
- Short attention span
- Lack of ability to stay focused
- Lack of energy
- Withdrawn and feeling overwhelmed
- Not taking care of yourself
- No motivation
- Negative attitude
- Low performance
- Increase in health problems
- Unhappy both professionally and personally
Recognizing that you have a burnout is the initial step. And, once you do that you can take the right steps to help yourself to manage the stress before it starts managing you.
How The HR Can Overcome The ‘Burnout’ Threat!
Following are some of the most common stressors that HR managers face and how you can overcome them!
1. Delivering ‘the news’:
One of the toughest challenges that HR encounter is being the bearer of bad news. That too in an era of layoffs and cost-cutting, it’s a pretty common concern. It goes without saying that this can be extremely difficult for HR managers to handle such situations.
How to Overcome: The important thing is to be confident and pragmatic. If your office mates are laid off, give them a send-off with dignity. It’s not the end of the world for either you or them. Understand the situation and stop blowing it out of proportion!
2. Maintaining the ‘fine balance’!
HR professionals act as a pivot point between the management and the employees. Often business interests and human concerns can be in conflict and can tend to pull you apart in two directions. At times, you might even be frustrated that you are not able to help employees as much as you would like. This can put you under a lot of mental stress and eventually lead to a burnout.
How to Overcome: Set clear expectations to the employee, listen to their woes and be upfront with employees if you can or cannot fix their problems. Don’t chastise yourself for something beyond your control and strive to achieve a better balance between the two extremes.
3. So much to do, so little time!
This is almost a universal complaint of HR. With a shrinking staff and ever-increasing challenges, you might have to take the onus of doing multiple tasks. Every day there’s a long list of things to do, meetings to attend, emails and phone calls to return. In addition to this, there are also unplanned events that need your attention.
How to Overcome: One solution is to plan for the unplanned by leaving some time open for inevitable problems and mini-interruptions. It is also a good thing to have some ‘me’ time when you can take a break, unplug for a while, and get back to your work again in order to be productive.
4. The need to be updated!
Another potential source of stress is the constant pressure to keep up in a field that is ever-changing. As new data comes in, new processes are adopted and new business strategies are framed, you have to be open to change and adapt to things quickly.
How to Overcome: Always be positive and welcome change as an opportunity to learn and grow. When you catch yourself having a negative thought, reinforce with a realistic, positive goal.
5. Stuck in the crossfire!
When there is conflict happening in the workplace, it’s the HR’s duty to be the umpire and reconcile it. It can be really stressful to mediate issues, understand different perspectives and then come up with practical solutions. In this process, you are bound to get consumed in the crossfire.
How to Overcome: Take care of yourself. Do fun and relaxing things outside the office to bust the stress. Exercise, spend time with family or friends, do yoga, meditate, listen to music. The payoff of including such activities include not only feeling better but also being more productive at work with enhanced focus.
6. Losing interest in work!
If you are no longer passionate or fired up to work, then it’s likely that you are way too stressed out. You might be so busy helping others that you can forget to help yourself. Over time this results in a burnout and eventually, you have no motivation to work.
How to Overcome: Why not find something you love and work towards it? It can be a new project, learning a new skill and much more. You may think that you don’t have the time for something extra, but setting apart some time for this and making it happen will help refresh you as a person. It can possibly rekindle the flame in you to be passionate.
7. Other Stressors — Identify the Root Cause of your Stress and Manage It!
There could be other factors causing you stress, apart from these known ones.
How to Overcome: Identifying the stressors in your job and figure out what is causing the stress and why it is causing it. Then you can take the right steps to connect with resources that will help you mitigate the issue and avoid burnout. Seek help from people, you are not alone!
A little attention towards stress management now will go a long way to help you avoid the burnout later. So be good to yourself like you are to other people. It will result in a happier, healthier and a less-stressed version of you who is more productive at work.