How to defeat HR burnout

Burnout is not a sign of weakness, it is your body trying to tell you that you’re unable to keep going the way you are.  

Workplaces can be a breeding ground for burnout due to high demands and low resources. Hence, HR partners are all too familiar with combating workplace burnout for others. Though the question is, how can companies help HR partners when they are feeling burnt out? 

Let’s look at what HR burnout means and the flow-on effect it has within an organisation. 

What is burnout?

Burnout is a serious health issue that affects much of today’s workforce. Caused by excessive and prolonged stress, burnout refers to complete emotional, physical and mental exhaustion. 

Constantly being faced with demands that cannot be met can leave employees emotionally drained. They start to feel increasingly helpless, cynical and resentful, the longer the situation goes on. This constant demand can eventually push them to feel as though they have nothing left to give.

Burnout is not contained in a person’s work life. The effects of burnout follow them home. Suffers of burnout cannot escape the feelings of helplessness, disillusionment and complete exhaustion even when they’re not at work.

Indeed reported in 2021 that 52% of workers felt burnt out. This statistic was up 9% from 2020 and is likely to rise again in 2022. High levels of employee burnout will lead to lower retention within an organisation, so it is an issue HR regularly deal with in relation to employee mental health.  

The question remains, what if HR experiences burnout?

HR burnout 

It can be forgotten that HR associates can experience burnout just like any other professional. HR burnout is often overlooked in the workplace as usually, it would be their department that identifies and addresses workplace burnout. 

Excessive mundane admin tasks can often be the root of HR burnout. If there is no automated HR software in place, HR professionals spend valuable time completing admin tasks at the expense of their strategic work, such as aligning HR efforts with business values. 

HR professionals want more stimulation and fulfilment than admin work. With a low sense of fulfilment comes the risk of low retention and morale. Driven employees that want to excel in the HR profession will not stay at a company that constantly neglects to use them to their full potential.

What effect does this have on the company?

The flow-on effect of not having a streamlined HR system in place in your organisation is what we refer to as a lose-lose-lose situation. HR, managers and the company are left under-resourced and overworked.

When HR has to compromise their time, less thought is given to their strategic work. This work is a vital part of how departments strategically manage their people. Strategic hiring and retention plans allow them to hire and train employees to be assets to the company. Without these plans being given the proper attention, managers lack the strategic backbone they need to create and retain the strongest team possible.

A company cannot reach its full potential in this scenario. Gradually retention rates and team morale will lower from overworked employees. High turnover rates only increase the workload of those employees that have stayed with the company, pushing them that much closer to their limit and lowering team morale that much further. These are costly problems for an organisation that can pull them into a downward spiral.  

How to stop HR burnout


Eliminate the problem at its source. The problem is HR partners feeling overworked, unfulfilled and burnt out from the excessive amounts of mundane admin work.

The solution is to give HR their time back by implementing enterprise-grade HR software that can automate their repetitive and mundane work tasks. With these tasks automated, HR partners gain 75% of their time back. Meaning they can complete all their tasks to a more professional standard which they can be proud of. 

This allows them to feel fulfilled in their work, as they are adding meaningful value to the business. A sense of accomplishment will replace that of any burnout they once experienced, and they can begin to enjoy what they do once more.

Ultimately this will raise team morale in the department and lead to higher employee retention. 

How does this help the company?

HR will always have a flow-on effect within an organisation. In this instance, the effect is what I like to call a ‘win-win-win’ situation. Hr partners, managers and the company are all winners when HR is free to perform their job more efficiently. 

HR now has the appropriate amount of time to spend with managers to work strategically on hiring and retention plans. These plans help HR to better service managers with the best team to meet their goals. Meeting these goals will raise team morale, as the employees will feel their efforts are purposeful. 

Employees will now have a sense of fulfilment, which should better team morale and employee retention. HR feels fulfilled, managers feel supported to meet their goals, and the company benefits from retaining experienced and happy employees – it is a win-win-win for everyone involved. 

Final thoughts

Burnout is a serious issue that can arise in the workplace. It is important to remember that HR partners are not immune to burnout just because they are the ones helping reduce it in the rest of the workplace. 

It doesn’t make sense to waste your HR associate’s skills on tasks that make little use of them. Automating mundane tasks gives HR their time and energy back. Meaning they can focus on more rewarding and strategic work for managers within the company. It really is a win-win-win for HR, managers and the company overall.