As the remnants of the COVID-19 pandemic slide into its fourth year, the growing pains of the working world acclimatizing itself to the New Normal continue to pose difficulties to employees – and employers – across the board. The traditional office workday has given way to “hybrid” work and remote work alternatives, which still have employers scrambling to ensure that all roles are filled and all duties accomplished while portions of their staff work from home or only pop into the office occasionally.
One business department that has seen markedly high levels of volatility is Human Resources. While the conventional style of business used to see all employees under one roof following the same guidelines at the same time of day, HR professionals must now monitor workforces spread across a city or sometimes even multiple states, all working in different environments and often during irregular schedules. This chaotic and unwieldly model has wreaked havoc on HR departments and, according to recent data, the situation is not yet on the road to improvement.
Too Much Work, Not Enough Time
A new study by Sage revealed some hard truths about the current state of Human Resources and the people who fill the roles. 95% of those surveyed believe that HR jobs have become too demanding and are simply too much work in today’s corporate climate. 84% say they are regularly stressed, 81% would classify themselves as “burnt out,” and a whopping 62% are seriously considering leaving the HR profession and finding a different career path.
This is worrisome news, considering that Human Resources is an essential component in nearly every business. The study also revealed that 92% of HR professionals believe they do not have the time and resources to do the job right and 83% say their company does not spend enough on technology that would allow them to better manage their duties and responsibilities. Many industries’ slow reaction time in pivoting to more agile workflows and processes have left many HR employees with outdated tools to handle brand new challenges.
Burnouts and Callouts
Burnout isn’t just a burden of HR professionals. American workers overall experienced record levels of burnout in 2022 according to another study by research firm Gartner. Businesses that are slow to react to the shifting corporate landscape are particularly susceptible to burnout risk, as employees noted that lack of motivation, the lack of connectedness to their workplace, and lack of meaningfulness in their work are the prime motivators for burnout. This doubly impacts the HR industry because not only are they stressed and stretched thin at work, but so are the employees they are monitoring and assisting.
This stress has contributed to an onslaught of sick absences, along with persistent COVID cases, a very difficult flu season, and a surge in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) cases. Rolling staff shortages from these maladies, along with lingering fallout from the Great Resignation, have ravaged many a workforce and company and HR leaders often find themselves scrambling to fill gaps while dealing with their own issues. Meanwhile, asking healthy employees to work longer hours to pick up the slack invariably leads to a vicious circle of more burnout, more sick employees, and suffering company morale.
Getting Work Back on Track
Although the HR work landscape is currently somewhat grim, there are steps that a business can take to relieve stress and make Human Resource jobs easier and more productive, as with any role. In the above Sage study, HR professionals noted that investment in tech and related training, well-being initiatives, peer-to-peer support networks, mentorship opportunities, and a broader understanding of the HR role among other members of the company are the most important steps a company can take in maintaining HR morale and warding against burnout.
Allowing burnout to spread unchecked in your company with a “just tough it out” attitude is a dangerous gambit in today’s evolving workplace. Bringing in blue-chip leaders who understand the unique issues that today’s HR professionals – and other employees – face on a daily basis can help enormously in turning your company culture around. GRN Mid-Cities specializes in searching out, and landing, top talent for your FinTech, wealth management, asset management, or RIA firm. Contact us today to see how we can help you build a team of diverse, talented, and forward-thinking winners!