Who looks after the HR team while they’re looking after everyone else?
By Katie Fletcher, Senior HR Projects Advisor
With everything that is happening in the world right now, the expectation on HR professionals has never been higher. As well as managing existing workloads, there has been a need to adapt policies, support people managers, increase communication and deal with the complexities of furlough. As the pandemic continues to take its toll, with job security diminishing further and uncertainty increasing for employees, this is a really challenging time for everyone, especially for those working within HR.
People often expect HR professionals to be ‘perfect’ and to be able to give great advice to others. However, HR professionals are historically not great at looking after themselves and are certainly not immune to the current situation.
As HR professionals strive to keep the wheels of the organisation in motion and provide support, they tend to put others first and forget about themselves – which in turn adds more pressure on their own health and wellbeing. Mental health is now the primary cause of long-term sickness with more than one in five employees suffering, so now more than ever is the right time to check in on your team. When was the last time you checked in on your HR team and asked how they were doing?
Here are five things you can do to look after your HR team during these difficult times:
- Make the time to check in – checking in with all members of staff, including your HR team, on a regular basis to ask how they are is crucial. These conversations are useful to gauge how an employee is coping with the current situation, workload, and their personal responsibilities. This can help prevent burnout and fatigue and support with managing stress and keeping a positive mindset. Remember people rarely sense themselves when they may be heading for a burn out.
- Take regular breaks and continue to take annual leave – encourage taking time off and taking regular breaks. While many employees may not see the point in taking time off just to be cooped up indoors, taking time off is crucial to ensure that employees have time away from work to recuperate, relax and unwind.
- Job security – as well as supporting employee’s anxieties about any potential changes within the business, your HR team may have their own concerns. So, if you know that you are not intending to make any changes in this area, let them know.
- Flexible working – allowing your HR professionals flexibility with their hours or working days may give them the support they need. Many people are trying to juggle work, home, childcare and you may find that being more flexible allows employees to really focus on themselves and others.
- Treat them as strategic partners – HR professionals are critical to the success of any business. Empower them to think commercially and be involved with long-term plans for the business, and remember; how a company looks after its people is what will define it moving forwards.
We hope this article is helpful, however if you need any further support or advice, contact a member of our HR Projects Team on 01274 864 999.