Close this search box.

HR workload is biggest barrier to better burnout support

According to new research from Wellbeing Partners, 32% of HR managers agree heavy workloads are preventing them from properly addressing employee burnout – HR’s most cited barrier to better burnout support. While data shows that HR’s struggle to recognise signs of employee burnout is also a roadblock, high levels of burnout among HR professionals are problematic too.

New research* reveals the barriers HR faces when tackling rising levels of employee burnout. The research* shows that the most cited issue preventing HR from providing better burnout support to employees is their own workload. Thirty-two percent of HR managers say this is a problem. Thirty-one percent also struggle to recognise signs of burnout in employees.

The survey of 200 UK HR managers also shows that while 6 in 10 (59%) say they’ve seen an increase in employee burnout in the last 6 months, 26% admit to having limited understanding of how to deal with it, and more than 1 in 5 (23%) don’t understand the exact protocols to take when employees show deteriorating signs of mental health. Unsurprisingly, 17% don’t know when it’s appropriate to refer employees’ on to mental health professionals.

HR is burnt out too
Wellbeing Partners’ research also reveals that 94% of HR managers say they have signs of burnout too. Nearly half (47%) say they struggle to find motivation and stay focused, 4 in 10 (39%) feel tired or drained most of the time, 30% say they don’t sleep well most nights and 27% feel that nothing they do is effective or makes a difference.

On top of this, unhelpful coping strategies are taking place: over a quarter (28%) say they ‘just want to go on their phone or watch television’ and 17% use food, drugs and/or alcohol to cope.

Lou Campbell, Programmes Director at Wellbeing Partners, clinical experts in employee mental health, states:

“Many HR teams are expected to handle employee burnout and mental health issues, essentially becoming counsellors to support employees with any number of problems. This is a dangerous precedent. HR is unlikely to be professionally trained to navigate employee mental health issues, plus too many HR professionals are simply overwhelmed with so many priorities. It’s creating a vicious organisational circle.

“HR can take manageable action. One key step is to learn the appropriate framework – the boundaries – for having supportive conversations with employees. This helps conversations follow an appropriate path, utilising techniques and phrases which prevent support turning into therapy sessions, and bring conversations to a safe close. While showing care for employees, a framework can help HR professionals avoid entanglement in mental health or personal issues, and provides psychological safety for all parties.

“Ultimately, HR must remember that they are not counsellors and should also learn the skills to signpost employees to professional support. Taking on a counsellor role is not appropriate; ensuring employees get the support they need is. In doing this, HR can gain valuable time for their own wellbeing.”

    Read more

    Latest News

    Read More

    Boosting employee performance: Proven strategies for success

    20 June 2024


    Receive the latest HR news and strategic content

    Please note, as per the GDPR Legislation, we need to ensure you are ‘Opted In’ to receive updates from ‘theHRDIRECTOR’. We will NEVER sell, rent, share or give away your data to third parties. We only use it to send information about our products and updates within the HR space To see our Privacy Policy – click here

    Latest HR Jobs

    University of Oxford – Department of Politics and International RelationsSalary: £36,024 to £44,263 per annum

    Jackson Hogg are delighted to be exclusively supporting an established manufacturing client based in Sunderland with the appointment of a Head of HR. £48,000 –

    The HR Director (HRD) will be a key member of the UK senior management team, driving the business forwards through being accountable for the attraction,

    The HR Director (HRD) will be a key member of the UK senior management team, driving the business forwards through being accountable for the attraction,

    Read the latest digital issue of theHRDIRECTOR for FREE

    Read the latest digital issue of theHRDIRECTOR for FREE