Employee burnout and excessive workloads are frequent complaints. What about you, the HR specialist? When you and your team are swamped with work and under stress, who is going to listen and care?
We do. We understand. Even HR professionals need a break from their heavy jobs. And you probably need strategies for avoiding or recovering from burnout.
Your group, including you, is more overburdened than ever: According to Gallup research, employee stress levels have now reached a new record high, exceeding the previous high that COVID-19 caused. Nearly 45% of workers experience significant everyday stress.
Your head aches, therefore you know that stress is bad for it. How about your heart, though? Not much improved. According to the American Psychological Association, long-term stress (from 2 years) can raise the risk of hypertension, heart attack, or stroke.
Where work has increased
According to data from Sage People, more than half of all HR professionals now devote more time to strategic tasks including fostering organizational agility, enhancing engagement, and establishing business culture. Additionally, most HR professionals now spend more time on administrative activities including managing flexible work arrangements, giving advice on workplace safety, and handling time-off requests.
"It has become more difficult for (HR professionals) to focus on new configurations even inside their own system while maintaining the status quo. The HRMorning/Sage People webinar, "How To Address Excessive Workloads in Your Teams," featured Heather Rykowski, Customer Success Manager at Sage People. "Things that they had initially intended to take place have been put on hold, and they have other things that are absorbing their focus."
Four strategies are listed below for regaining control over an overwhelming workload and reducing stress:
1. Examine your stats
You'll need a baseline of what is being done (and possibly more particularly, how it is being done) if you and your team feel overburdened.
You probably already maintain some sort of performance analysis; this might be anything from simple Excel documents and time sheets to sophisticated project management and workforce tools. Yes, it will divert your attention from other obligations, but you should pay closer attention to how much time and money are allocated to each project, activity, and strategic decision.
Consider how much effort your recruitment staff has to do: How many opportunities are currently up for hire for each recruiter? When did each one first open? How does it compare historically to your company? How does it stack up against the industry standard? Do you put too much pressure on each recruiter? Is the workload excessive or is it poorly managed?
According to Sarah Andresen, Principal, People Science at Sage, "You really want to look at multiple areas of your HR staff" in the webinar. "And consider the developments throughout time."
This will provide you a statistical baseline but not the details, such as how people feel about their jobs and how their jobs make them feel.
2. Get a health-check
The full picture of high workloads and how they influence HR cannot be fully shown by numbers. People can and will show this.
"Let's do HR for HR", Andresen said. " Use pulse surveys to go deeper and learn the true state of HR. They are just as prone to disengagement and burnout as other teams. Imagine putting on your oxygen mask while flying. Before you can assist others, you must put on your own."
Analyze the degree of engagement among your team members just like you would for other workers. Inquire about their encounters. Probably, you don't want to carry out this activity in secret. Inform the group that you need to know how they feel in order to quickly and directly address problems.
Some queries to make are:
- How frequently do you experience stress or annoyance at work?
- What is your main concern?
- What stresses you out the most?
- What manual work do you believe ought to be automated?
- How frequently do you miss meals when you're too busy or under pressure?
- What current work-related success story can you share?
3. Disclose the outcomes
Inform your staff, and preferably your executive team, of your findings once you have data and individual outcomes.
then hold a public discussion with your team. Remind them: This is not the time for ranting. It's time to evaluate what you're doing, what needs to be continued, and how to carry out your current tasks effectively, efficiently, and with a purpose.
Asking people to make a Stop, Start, Continue list is one activity that might be beneficial for everyone.
Stop - What can you delegate or remove from your plate?
Start - What are some responsibilities you haven't yet taken on but want or need to?
Continue - What are you now doing that you wish to carry on in the future?
The Stop, Start, and Continue List should then be aligned with department goals in a strategy to reduce the excessive workload.
4. Aim to avoid stress
Stress and burnout are caused by excessive workloads. However, it goes beyond cause and effect. It has a cycle. Stressed out people or entire teams are more likely to manage time and tasks poorly, which causes workloads to increase or feel excessive.
Therefore, just as much as you want all employees to do it, HR executives and their teams want to keep ahead of stress. Gympass founder Cesar Carvalho highlighted a few unusual ways to relieve stress, and they don't include going to the gym:
- Synchronize your breaks. We are aware that expecting everyone to leave at once sounds a little unreasonable. However, his team worked from home throughout the epidemic as a means of ensuring that everyone took breaks, was less likely to be interrupted at inconvenient times, and was able to stay more concentrated while collaborating.
- Be a non-profit leader. Goals, outcomes, and numbers are crucial, but they can be nerve-wracking. As a result, make an effort to start meetings and projects by discussing how your work will affect the company's mission, consumers, or community. Share instances of beneficial community impacts, consumer testimonials, or staff success stories.