HR execs are fed up and burned out. Is anyone surprised? I think they’ve been fed up and burned out for a long, long time. Going through the pandemic this last couple of years, and dealing with what I think are some extraordinary circumstances, is only adding to the frustration.
Below I’ll share five recommendations a Business Insider article suggests for helping when HR execs are fed up and burned out… you can see the article here:
HR execs are fed up and burned out. They share 5 pieces of advice on how to handle the growing challenges in the workplace.
I will also share some of my own thoughts. Their five suggestions:
- Consider permanent hybrid-work options.
- Manage layoffs with compassion.
- Address the social and political elephants in the room.
- Expanding abortion-related-benefits? Be sure to consider state restrictions.
- Prioritizing caring for yourself as well.
Look, before the pandemic, and some of these “social and political elephants in the room,” HR had problems.
One of the problems I’ve seen is that, in many organizations, HR never really had a seat at the executive table. They were always a cost center and a wet blanket. That is, they were more on the “you can’t do this” side of the table than the “we are helping our employees” side of the table. HR has been, in many situations, the bad guy. The heavy. The person brought into disciplinary or layoff meetings. The one you could file a formal complaint with, but not sure if they had your interest, or the employer’s interest, in mind.
HR is a hard field.
Having said that, I have worked with some fantastic HR executives and leaders. Even though they didn’t have a seat at the executive table they worked hard to make an impact and actually, really work for employees (while still keeping the organization’s interests in mind). One of the smartest, wisest, and best HR leaders I’ve worked with was also one of the most stratetic and visionary leaders I have known. She took her job from what could have been very reactive and operational to strategic and systematic.
Here are three more things I’d like to suggest for when HR execs are fed up and burned out. Please, take this to your leadership teams and have conversations around any of these points. Talk about them, figure out if you are dealing with them at your organization, and list other issues you should address. HR should help others not become fed up and burned out… isn’t it ironic that HR execs are fed up and burned out?
It’s crazy that in 2022 we even have to say that if you are running your HR organization, benefits, rewards, incentives, etc. from spreadsheets, you are creating a lot more work than is necessary? You don’t have to automate everything… don’t lose your personal touch everywhere, but there are many places that automation will help shift the load, burden, and even risk of mistakes (which can be catastrophic to your organization) from human error, sloppiness, etc. to a server, which is more likely to be consistent and accurate.
At Snowfly, we help you automate your employee and manager recognition system. We help you automate incentives and rewards. We want to help your team work where they are most valuable instead of having them manage timely programs run on complex spreadsheets.
The rest of your organization is looking at ways to automate their operations. Shouldn’t you?
One beef I have with the list above, from the Business Insider article, is that some of those things can clearly fall on the shoulders of organizational leaders, even the owners, and not HR. Many times the hybrid-work options are not up to HR. HR helps communicate about it, and maybe develop the plans/systems/etc. to help ensure it is managed and rolled out well, but the decision to do these programs rests at the executive committee level. It’s not HR’s fault if the organization’s leaders won’t support this model.
Those social and political elephants aren’t your fault. And, you might not have hardly any impact on organizational policies. You need to understand it’s not your burden to fix the world, or make special accommodations because of what’s happening based on cultural, social, political, etc. changes. Just understanding and acknowledging that should reduce serious stress.
In the second point above it says to manage layoffs with compassion. Empathy is something we want to feel from HR but too often HR gets stuck in what they can and can’t say, what they should and shouldn’t say, and they can feel heartless.
I don’t know the right answer for this widespread problem, but I would invite you and your team to talk about how you can actually be more empathetic towards what some say is your greatest asset: your people. Build a culture where empathy is a given, and practice that empathy. Employees know you have to do hard things and make hard decisions, but they shouldn’t be afraid of going to HR, or sharing ideas or opinions, for fear of retribution. Somehow, we need to bring the human factor back into human resources.
At Snowfly, we love to talk about culture. We have developed a suite of tools and programs to help build and reinforce a culture that helps your organization be more productive while increasing job satisfaction. We’d love to talk to you about what we’re doing and see if we can help. Reach out at the link below: