For the past 19 months and counting, human resource (HR) leaders across the country have been beset by nonstop challenges. Between coordinating the pandemic-forced move to remote working environments, scaling back operations, bearing the brunt of negative employee feedback and ensuring that time-sensitive HR obligations are fulfilled, HR workers have worked tirelessly to manage the health and well-being of others.


However, a recent Paychex Pulse of HR Report revealed that many HR leaders need to find time to turn that compassion and care inward. In a national survey of over 1,000 HR decision-makers, Paychex found that 98% of HR leaders say that the pandemic has transformed their role. What’s more, 70% of respondents said that this been one of the most challenging years of their career.


The Paychex report also found that eight in 10 HR leaders are strategic partners within their company and are involved in conversations with the C-suite about new business initiatives. A final telling statistic: 96% of HR leaders believe that employee mental health is an employer responsibility.


This employee-first mindset is common among HR leaders and workers. In fact, a September 2020 Bank of America report on “The Evolution of Burnout” found that (of the 808 employers surveyed) 62% of employers felt extremely responsible for employees’ financial wellness and 83% of employers felt financial wellness tools lead to greater employee productivity.


Although cases of burnout have been heavily documented among healthcare workers and first responders, reports of burnout among HR leaders have continued to climb in recent months. Characterized as a state of mental, physical and emotional exhaustion, burnout usually results from long-term, work-related stressors.


Here are four ways to manage signs of burnout: 


1. Remeber to address your basic needs first. 

The moment you feel unable to turn off anxious thoughts or curtail stressful feelings, go back to your body’s basic needs. Are you hungry? When was the last time you refilled your water bottle? Fix what your body is telling you needs to be fixed first.


2. Face the facts. Keep evidence with you to help deny any negative self-talk. Do you think you’re in danger of being fired? Keep your last review handy and confront the truth of the situation. One critique is not the same as “you’re going to lose your job.” That nice comment a manager told you last week? Write it down and keep it somewhere visible to remind yourself of your value to the company.


3. Find your neutral. Ask yourself what you need to find your neutral setting. Do you need to blow off steam with your work friend, grab some fresh air, break out your favorite “in case of emergency” snack or practice some deep breathing exercises? Keep in mind what you need to reset, so you can get back to the task at hand.


4. Be unavailable. This will likely need to wait until after the work week but remember to take time to recover. Put your phone on airplane mode or silence it. Commit to being present with your family or favorite furry companion.


Craving more content from Mployer Advisor? Click here to check out the latest news on our blog.