Key stress factors in human resources jobs
The factors and issues that human resources professionals find themselves most stressed by are:
- Insufficient power to implement objectives: Human resources professionals often have to provide services to persons who are much higher up in the organizational hierarchy. For example, to implement any strategy concerning the sales department, the human resources professional first has to satisfy the top sales manager, who traditionally has more authority and responsibility in the organization. Consequently, the human resources professional finds it much more difficult to get heard and is more often than not entirely ignored.
- Dual allegiance: Trying to be of service both to the managers and blue-collar employees can put enormous stress on the consciences of human resources professionals. If, by chance, adversarial relationships exist between the two groups, then the human resources professionals may get scorned by both sides and viewed as inefficient meddlers.
- People with negative perceptions of the HR function: This is a frequent problem with people from non-HR backgrounds who may view HR’s role as “superfluous.” Reactions vary from resisting the suggestions of human resources professionals to ignoring or rejecting them outright. These people are skeptical of the contributions of the human resources department and view HR as a necessary evil that needs to be suffered in order to comply with the implications of several statutes.
- The specter of job loss: The prospect of being laid-off is always hanging over the heads of human resources professionals. Budget slashes and headcount reductions are quite common in HR departments. The aforementioned lack of perceived value of the human resources function within business organizations makes the human resources department a prime target for implementing cost-cutting exercises.
William M. Kahnweiler, "Sustaining Success in Human Resources: Key Career Self-Management Strategies," Human Resource Planning 29, no. 4 (2006).