HR Burnout is a Severe Organizational Problem

Employee burnout is an increasing phenomenon today, and HR leaders are suffering more than usual. HR professionals have become strategic in recent years, increasingly moving from a primarily administrative function to a pivotal role in achieving business goals. Although most organizations expect HR to develop strategies around hybrid work, organizational purpose, employee well-being, and DEIB, they failed to focus on one element- HR’s support.

Approximately 98% of HR professionals reported that the pandemic transformed their role, and about 70% said 2020 was one of the most challenging years of their careers. Moreover, 9 of 10 HR professionals reported that their stress levels increased during and after the pandemic. The professionals had to conduct sudden layoffs, adopt new policies to accommodate sick and remote workers, and hire new talents during the Great Resignation.

A study on these professionals reported that 6 out of 10 employees experienced emotional exhaustion, the most significant workplace challenge. Since HR leaders are susceptible to burnout through the nature of their jobs, HR professionals need to spot the signs of burnout early and care for themselves.

Characteristics of HR Leaders

Remarkable HR leaders can emerge at any level. Whether you are an entry-level recruiter with a strong ability to hire unique talent or have a knack for building your employees’ skills, you can influence your workplace positively as an HR leader.

As a human resource leader, you are responsible for recruiting and developing talent within your organization. As an effective HR leader, you invest positively in company culture and ensure employee development and satisfaction. Above all, a human resource leader must possess the following qualities and skills that differentiate you from others.

Honesty and integrity

As human resource managers, you often need to make quick decisions in moments of crisis or significant change. The best HR leaders know that honesty and transparency are essential to boost the morale and success of a team. You must be open to your employees, which is easy to establish through regular check-in communication. Open up space for your teams to discuss new changes and potential problems. The best HR professional knows how to give employees a reliable communication channel.

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Motivates employees

As an effective HR leader, you must follow certain skill sets, job knowledge, and expertise. It allows you to foster an environment where your employees feel valued and motivated. Besides, having a people-person personality helps you create a loyal and high-performing team.

Fosters a development culture in the organization

A remarkable HR manager tries their best to develop others, which further expands to coaching, acting as a mentor, and offering helpful feedback to all the employees. A study conducted by Deloitte stated that 42% of the respondents reported that their jobs fails to utilize their skills and abilities.

Empathy in People management

Empathy is vicarious introspection, where an individual has the same feeling as others. Although strategic thinking, change management, and the ability to execute are essential qualities every professional must possess, empathy is one of the most underrated leadership skills. HR professionals develop the capacity to empathize, inspire and empower a team to greater heights. There is nothing unusual about seeing things from an employee’s perspective. However, as you put yourself in your employees’ place, you start to understand them, motivating them to deliver better results.

HR Burnout: Understanding the Causes

Burnout occurs when you have chronic stress in the workplace. Employees experience stress when they overwork and receive the least support or when they navigate high-pressure situations in the workplace. As an HR professional, you might face unique challenges and demands leading to burnout. Approximately 86% of HR leaders reported experiencing more stress in 2021. More than 53% of the professionals reported experiencing burnout, and 48% of HRs are searching for a new job. Isn’t it surprising? Since there have been so many changes in a short period, with few resources and security, resulted in boosting stress among 44% of HRs dramatically.

Enlisted are some of the most reasons for HR burnout.

Unsupportive Leadership

Without proper support, work remains unrewarding. Do you know why this problem persists? It’s because today’s organizations blindly follow the 200-year-old rules that developed during the Industrial Revolution. Managers must stop working and following these principles. Some experts suggest that leaders fail to prioritize the human element in the business.

Recruitment issues

Recruitment is another issue for HR professionals. Hiring and recruiting are becoming tougher than before. It is causing HR professionals to miss recruitment goals, leading to burnout. The Great Resignation exacerbated the issue, creating pressure on HR teams to recruit new employees.

Reporting on metrics that don’t matter

Businesses nowadays are thriving in a data-driven world. Often HR teams are responsible for creating reports with metrics that don’t work or exist. You experience frustration when the reports fail to follow on time or lead to actions. The bureaucratic set-up of several current businesses resulted in complex programmatic divisions overlayered and connected with numerous processes. These cumbersome and impractical systems are unrewarding, forcing the best HR professionals to feel like they are diverting attention from their primary focus, the people.

Tips for HR Well-being

Undoubtedly, HR departments experience challenges every day. To thrive in your job and passion, taking care of your well-being is vital. Here are some top tips from the best HR professionals worldwide that would help you prevent burnout and cope with the same.

Setting the boundaries

Often remote work disrupts work-life balance, and it’s easy to blur the fine line between work and home when it is all the same. However, it doesn’t take long for work concerns and emails to creep into your personal time and weekends. The fastest formula for burnout is when you feel the pressure to remain available throughout the day. What can you do? You can set boundaries to protect your time and give yourself a chance for psychological and physical renewal. Determine the hours you want to be available and stick to them. Even if your workstation is in your home, ensure a sense of separation by stepping away from it after completing the work. You must acknowledge that all requests aren’t emergencies and manage them the next day.

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Upskill for self-care and managing stress

Managing stress and finding work-life balance are essential skills that all professionals must learn. As organizational leaders, you must make these skills part of the organization’s employee training strategy for your and your colleagues’ benefit. Offer programs in self-care and mindfulness that help you and your employees to learn to cope-up and reduce anxiety. You can include courses on remote work skills like time and project management, as these skills help you organize your work schedule.

Seek help when necessary

Help your team involve in specific tasks through training that is overwhelming you. You can help them speed up the interview processes so that they pitch in with new hires or exit interviews. You can also reach out to other teams and management for help. You can ask the operations team to identify the inefficiencies or obstacles contributing to your workload. Managers and leaders must inquire about their subordinates’ well-being from time to time and offer them the required resources.

Practice healthy habits

Often HR professionals remain swamped with work, making it difficult for them to take care of their physical and psychological well-being. Practicing good health helps you control those feelings of anxiety and helplessness. Set goals to get a good sleep at night. You can also avoid eating junk food and healthy snacks to fuel your body and clear your mind. Also, prioritize exercise, especially if it is part of your everyday life. Even if you take a quick walk outdoors, it helps you clear your head and process stress better.

Celebrate every win and achievement

As an HR, you must set certain goals, which enables you to see how you can progress towards them and celebrate when you hit a milestone. Besides helping you to take ownership of your work, it gives you a sense of accomplishment. Organizations must build a culture of peer recognition within teams and lead by example. While praising your teammates, be specific, and determine why your teammates deserve recognition.


Planning to build an organization with happy and productive employees, you must start taking your well-being seriously. Since your role involves serving others, it is often possible to forget to take care and check in with yourself. When you recognize and address burnout, you renew your energy. When you are healthy and enjoy your job, it becomes easier for you to help others to reach that point. As an HR professional, you must address your burnout, which later helps you find your passion.

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