Almost half of HR managers (45%) have considered leaving their current roles because of the pressures of dealing with employee mental health and burnout.
Worryingly, according to the poll of 200 UK HR managers by Wellbeing Partners, almost all (90%) said they were seeing signs of burnout among their employees.
Ironically, considering where the pressure is coming from, the extent of burnout and mental ill health was now affecting the emotional and mental wellbeing of HR professionals too, with many saying they were struggling to set boundaries for their own psychological safety.
More than a third (38%) of the HR managers polled admitted to having conversations with employees about their mental health outside of working hours.
Only slightly fewer (31%) conceded they looked at emails outside of work and more than a quarter (27%) said they were regularly having to complete tasks outside of working hours because of the volume of mental health issues they were facing.
On top of this, more than one in four (26%) felt they were at risk of becoming overly involved in employees’ personal lives and/or mental health issues and 23% were experiencing ‘compassion fatigue’ from the pressure of supporting struggling employees.
The lack of boundaries surrounding mental health support was also contributing to high numbers of HR professionals contemplating leaving their organisations.
Nearly half of the HR professionals polled (49%) felt employees were struggling to find motivation and stay focused. More than four in 10 (42%) agreed employees regularly appeared tired or drained, and a third (33%) said employees seemed to care less about work.
Lou Campbell, programmes director at Wellbeing Partners, said: “While HR has a duty of care to support employees suffering with their mental health, they often neglect to look after themselves.
“For people in supporting roles, it’s useful to know what the appropriate boundaries are when discussing mental health issues with colleagues, to avoid becoming enmeshed or overly involved. Appropriate boundaries ensure that the conversation stays psychologically safe for the employee, and avoids compassion fatigue for HR,” she added.