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ER Pros Are Burning Out

Jan 12, 2023

As a professional community, we need to put on our oxygen masks. Even though the bag doesn’t look inflated - oxygen is flowing. Stay focused on what matters to employees but stop trying to do ALL the things alone. Keeping the spotlight on the important work we do will help us retain the credibility needed to tap others for help.

You’ve heard the drill. “In the unexpected event cabin pressure changes, oxygen masks will fall. To ensure everyone’s safety, place your mask on before helping others.” From the panic of pandemics to the emotional stress of social justice, the past two years have changed our cabin pressure. Look up. Our masks have fallen.

Over the last two years, Employee Relations (ER) and Human Relations (HR) professionals were thrown into the spotlight, expected to be and do so much more than we ever imagined. We were expected to remain calm during a global panic attack and to advise leadership from the front seat of a social justice roller coaster.

To say the status of our role changed abruptly is a pretty rich understatement. For once, ER had the influence we’ve always deserved. The chaos just made everyone else appreciate it. Yet as we return to work and navigate our new normal of hybrid teams, higher expectations and hyper-accountable work environments, the visibility and status are fading.

Consistently supporting employees and managers during their worst days, without retaining influence, is taking its toll. 98% of ER/HR professionals report feeling burned out. 87% of us are open to a new job. Let that soak in.