HR At High Risk of Change Fatigue

Change fatigue will not only be impacting on HR right now, but if not managed and measured effectively it will ripple throughout an organisation.

Using data to measure the employee experience, alongside the workplace culture will ensure strategic success, whilst also creating a psychological safe environment.

Four in five people reported feeling exhausted by the ongoing uncertainty at work and in society in September this year, and HR is among the most at risk.

New data from training app provider Untapped AI has found the so-called ‘change fatigue’ phenomenon creating shift in attitudes post-pandemic.

Though anxiety was down by 14% in September compared to August, a third of people said they had felt an increase in low mood instead.

Company co-founder and CEO Kendal Parmar, said the highest level of change fatigue is often seen in their HR users at 66%.

Speaking to HR magazine Parmar said: “HR is the most stretched part of workforce dealing with the impact of change, and they often have a lot of responsibility but little authority to change things.

“They play a containing role for change in companies but have very few places to express the impact of change on them.”

As a result, she said it is essential HR put’s itself first when attempting to tackle wellbeing issues associated with change fatigue.

“Making sure that HR folks have their own support and support each other is crucial,” she said.

Instead of getting drawn into the dialogue surrounding such issues, Parmar suggested HR encourage employees to notice the small things they are doing to feel empowered.

“HR can encourage and help others to notice their acts of agency, as well as help leaders to notice acts of agency in their teams,” she said.

“This noticing of cumulative small acts of agency builds confidence and resilience in individuals and the organisation.”

Factors including an enforced return to the office and a lack of coherent hybrid working strategy were reportedly having an impact on people’s outlook on their jobs and livelihoods, creating a loss of agency and control.

To regain control, said Parmar, HR needs to take a step back and look at the bigger picture of their organisations and how actions are affecting their people.

“This of course is easier said than done,” she added.

“It is a mindset shift to hover over complex situations and use the bigger picture to help others stuck in the detail.

“It doesn’t help to over identify with the change fatigue in others. It’s the space and the different perspective whilst remaining human that the organisation needs.”

Untapped AI’s change fatigue data is based on insights gathered from 10,000 users of the company’s app which rather than asking user to self-report, is designed to capture employees’ subconscious feelings.