HR pros experiencing widespread burnout in 2022

Less than one-third feel valued in their organization despite adapting to the pandemic and Great Resignation

HR pros experiencing widespread burnout in 2022

It’s no surprise that HR professionals are reeling after two years of workplace disruption, but a new report indicates how widespread and severe the burnout truly is. 

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Great Resignation, 98% of HR professionals are fatigued and under pressure, according to Ireland-based Workvivo, a workplace communication app, which surveyed more than 500 HR professionals in the United States and United Kingdom.

In the past six month alone, 94% of HR pros surveyed said they felt overwhelmed and 88% said they dreaded work. Roughly 97% said they felt emotionally fatigued from work over the past year. The magnitude of the Great Resignation, in which companies across the U.S. are experiencing historic turnover, and the transitioning of entire workplace structure and culture has left HR departments under-resourced and under immense pressure.

In addition to adapting to shifts to fully remote and hybrid work schedules, 83% said that office politics are disrupting the workplace. Despite all these pressures and the heavy workload, only 29% of HR pros feel that their work is valued in their organization. This has led to 78% of respondents saying that they are open to leaving their job this year for new opportunities.

After all, the talent market is hotter than ever, and nobody knows that more than HR leaders. That’s why they’ve been making some big moves over the past few weeks.

High-profile brands like Etsy and Scholastic have created CHRO and chief people officer positions, recruiting industry veterans for the roles. Major players in various fields, such as Borgata and Allstate, have also named new HR leaders. Even Zoom’s decorated HR guru Lynne Oldham jumped to fintech firm Stash.

Read more: Battling the blues: Memphis’ CHRO struggles with retention

More than three quarters of HR professionals hoping to change their employer said they’re looking for better compensation and benefits, according to the latest edition of LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index. Meanwhile, 62% of HR job seekers say they want new opportunities that align better with their interests and values.

Gillian French, Workvivo’s expert-in-residence in employee experience, warns that without significant change, this situation will have an enormous impact on organizations and worsen the challenges they’re facing today.

“HR and internal communications are tasked with taking care of employees and ensuring that everybody else feels appreciated, recognized and healthy in the workplace,” French said. “These professionals should also feel this in order to create a healthier workplace and solve internal issues. These results show a serious situation whereby only one in two feel like their organization values the HR function.”

Along with feeling undervalued, HR departments report being under-resourced with 73% saying they don’t have the tools and resources they need to do their job well. “If this situation continues without intervention, leaders will be looking at serious cultural impact and worsening problems around retention and the employee experience more broadly,” French said.

“Significant attention and focus are needed on the people function, as well as investment in the employee experience for all. In practice this means committing to more people-friendly practices like flexible working or increased annual leave, but a box-checking exercise won’t be enough to fix this. Organizations must examine their culture and truly listen to their employees about what needs to change,” French said.

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