Show Notes: Episode 194 – How Neurodiversity Impacts Productivity, Culture, and Retention (with Jeff Gibbard and Sarah Ohanesian)
May 6, 2024
Transcript: Episode 195 – How to Handle HR Burnout and Empathy Fatigue (with Liesel Mertes)
May 20, 2024

Click here for a full transcript of the episode.

According to the World Health Organization, there are three dimensions of work burnout: feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion, increased mental distance from or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job, and a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment. Signs that you may be experiencing burnout include becoming increasingly critical of your workplace, feeling listless or unmotivated, not putting in the effort you used to, and more. These feelings could be caused by a number of factors, like unclear or moving job targets, work overload, unhealthy workplace culture, and work-life imbalance.

In 2022, Forbes reported that 98% of HR respondents said they felt burned out. There’s been some settling and recalibration since then, but there are still a lot of demands and disruptive life events layering on top of the business of doing HR. When we’re dealing with this rate of depletion, it can be hard to continually give in an outward-facing way. Some tips for being sustainable in the long-term so the asks don’t feel as grinding include getting plenty of sleep, hydrating, creating rituals to signal the end of your workday, etc.

In the meantime, your responses matter, so even when you’re experiencing empathy fatigue, it’s important to acknowledge people in difficult moments. Release them to take care of things, and plan ahead to follow up later. Be careful about saying things like “take all the time you need” – employees know that there is an end date and will feel stressed about whether they’ve passed the deadline you had in mind.

When you’re experiencing mental and emotional health exhaustion, think of yourself with the same sort of care and concern you’d give to your vehicle; you wouldn’t just drive through indicator lights or despise your car because it needs care. There are four main categories of things you can do to be sustainable. One is in your thinking; examine the messaging you give yourself and the way you talk to yourself. Second is in your body; it’s hard to be anxious when your body is relaxed, so focus on your breathing, sleep, hydration, movement, etc. Third, connect with your communities of support. And finally, consider the organizational causes and whether you can change the workplace from within or leave the organization.

If you’re feeling burnout or empathy fatigue, know that it’s hard, but you don’t have to be stuck there. You’re worthy of your own attention, care, and stewardship. Feeling spent does not have to be the end of your story!

In this episode’s listener question, we’re asked about video interview formats. In the news, we discuss Lifestyle Spending Accounts (LSAs).

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Emily Miller
Emily Miller
Emily works behind the scenes at JoyPowered, helping to edit and publish the books, producing the podcast, and running the website and social media.

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