HR professionals are exhausted. Over the last year or so, those in HR have faced numerous workplace challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, protests and civil unrest, equity and inclusion, workplace shootings, and the list goes on. Leaders and employees have looked to us to set an example and to be calm, cool and collected. The truth is that HR professionals deal with emotions, angst and uneasiness just like anyone else. However, we are tasked with finding a balance so that we can serve our leadership and employees to the best of our abilities. How do we find that balance, you ask? Here are a few suggestions:
- Stay energized. Make sure you are taking care of yourself physically. Take walks, attend exercise classes or go on bike rides. Go fishing, read a good book or find something that will help you relax and recuperate. Drink plenty of water and eat more fruits and vegetables. Get plenty of rest.
- Be mindful of your mental health. Stress, angst and anxiety are not good for anyone. Learn when it’s time to take a break. Stepping away from a situation for a few minutes to get some water or fresh air can do wonders. Learn the signs of depression: trouble sleeping, eating or staying focused on tasks; significant loss of energy; irritability; and decreased interest in activities at home or work. If you are experiencing some combination of these symptoms, it may be time to talk to a professional to help you get back on track.
- Lean on other HR professionals for help. Discussing challenges with and getting advice from people in your professional network can be very helpful. SHRM has great resources for HR professionals along these lines. The HR Knowledge Center is available to members so they can get assistance with HR-related situations. SHRM also has SHRM Connect, a chat forum that allows members to talk with one another. Another great resource is your local SHRM chapter; take advantage of its meetings and events to get helpful ideas and insights.
The bottom line is that, yes, HR professionals are exhausted, but as you can see from the information above, there are ways to manage that exhaustion so we can still be productive and set a positive example for leaders and employees.
SHRM’s Ask an Advisor service is a member benefit through which SHRM's HR Knowledge Advisors offer guidance, real-life personal/professional experiences and resources to assist members with their HR-related inquiries. We receive questions from HR professionals on topics ranging from managing employee stress to managing conflict.
If you want to know more about managing stress/exhaustion or have other HR questions, we’d love to help! Give us a call or send an e-mail. We’re also available by chat. The Ask an Advisor service is one of the best benefits of SHRM membership!