It's the same old story of Singapore and exhausted employees, and this time, the focus is on HR (human resources) professionals.
A new study conducted by mental health tech company Intellect and consumer research firm Milieu revealed that at least 75 percent of Singaporean HR professionals experience the sensation of burnout at least once a month.
Now, this follows a global trend in which employees everywhere are facing heightened rates of burnout, and unsurprisingly, many of those surveyed said that they don't feel equipped to combat emotional fallout and lack of recognition for their work, which in turn has led to more fatigue.
The overview of the results addressed the many causes of such burnout, including financial and geopolitical uncertainties, COVID-19, and a looming global recession. But one factor that was particularly highlighted was the glamorization and promotion of the "rise and grind" culture (or hustle culture), which has now induced ill effects on HR teams and younger employees.
"While 59 percent of HR professionals described their mental health as ‘excellent’, ‘very good’ or ‘good,’ 75 percent feel burnt out at least once a month, and 41 percent of them say they are burnt out at least once a week," the overview said.
"Unfortunately, only one third (32 percent) of HR respondents believe their company gives high or very high importance to employee mental health. In fact, while 51 percent of HR professionals say their employer provides them with mental health resources, less than half (44 percent) are satisfied with these."
It was also mentioned that there was a particular lack of normalizing conversations about burnout at the workplace, with only 19 percent of these professionals bringing it up once a month, 27 percent talking about it a few times a year or less, and 26 percent never discussing mental health at all.
The report eventually suggested it was up to employers to build supportive workplace cultures.
In simpler terms, employers need to find ways to address the underlying causes of HR and employee burnout and stress. This can be done through systematic solutions at an organizational level.
However, it's not easy to do this when HR professionals themselves are already overworked and struggling to perform their duties well, with many of them feeling burdened by heavy workloads and not feeling directly responsible for other employees' mental health — even though some of them see it as part of their job.
Overall, HR professionals also feel pressure to meet certain expectations at work, such as performing their best, completing tasks within working hours, and doing their best for employees.
Unfortunately, many of them struggle to meet these expectations due to burnout, and it can all have a negative impact on business productivity. The report alsomentioned that many HR professionals struggle to find enough rest and leisure time or effectively practice self-care.