How HR Managers Can Help Avoid Self-Burnout
Exhausted and exhausted HR teams deserve a break.
Most of the people I know survived the winter vacation squatting at home, surrounded only by those who were in their immediate homes and doing their best to stay safe as the pandemic raged outside. For the first time in maybe 20 years, I haven’t written down my personal goals, not a single goal, not a single tradition that I cherish. And that was for good reason, as I had accumulated so much scar tissue from the sheer shock of what 2020 had turned out to be, in stark contrast to what my ambitious goals and plans had initially been for it. Plus, there was huge uncertainty about what would even be possible in the coming year, especially outside the walls of my Manhattan apartment.
I bet you can join me in feeling particularly exhausted (and maybe exhausted) at the start of summer. So many people all over the world have found themselves sharing a mutual feeling of “hitting a wall”, and anyone working in HR had absolutely had a single bruise in the past 16 months. While healthcare professionals, essential workers, teachers and first responders had faced a much more difficult hand, HR was at the forefront of so many challenges, changes and crises of this time. of our life that we will never be able to forget. Without a doubt, many of us have encountered some definition of trauma during this time, which we need to recognize, accept, and take appropriate action as we move forward. Unlike many other functions that had fewer changes to lead, HR never had a break, from RIFs to office closures (and returns), remote working and outrage at inequalities, occupational safety and vaccine safety, and much more – we have the right to feel devastated!
HR and the professionals who run the function are a classic case of “the shoemaker’s children walk barefoot”. We are so focused on our leaders, managers and employees that we often end up putting ourselves (both professionally and personally) last. There is, of course, an advantage to this behavior, as it allows us to avoid thinking and confronting the difficult questions of what we want, need or how we feel, given the attraction to helping people. others instead. But it’s not functional, nor sustainable, to continue like this after what we’ve been through. Now is the time for all of us to give ourselves a mid-year reset.
I walk on this, just returned from 10 days in Aruba with my boyfriend where I have allowed our plans to be ‘nothing’ for some of our days, totally disconnected from work, spent a lot of time being active outdoors and minimized my screen time. If you don’t have a real break (read: not a family reunion, kids’ soccer tournament, etc.) to wait and savor, treat yourself to one.
Read more ideas from Ben Brooks here.
Another part of the mid-year reset is to go back up, slow down, and take the context into account. After a seizure, it’s often difficult to “come down” from the adrenaline rush and momentum. At the start of the pandemic, my company’s sales dropped dramatically as few people in HR (naturally) could afford to invest the time or resources in employee development and retention, so I put the Working hard to protect 100% of my team’s jobs, wages and benefits, and make sure we can weather the storm.
Today things are different, as we are now experiencing significant growth as we increase recruitment. And so, with that in mind, I need to recalibrate my behaviors, including how much I work, the limits I set for myself, the expectations I have of myself and where I spend my time. I have to go through the difficult but healthy process of letting go of a lot of the things I owned, as we grow our team and delegate more. It’s a complete 180 compared to what I was doing a year ago, which is confusing, but given my role and the current context, it’s the right decision. In the military, situational awareness is a fundamental training principle that keeps military members alive, and we must bring that same level of vigilance and agility to our own professional environment, by quickly adapting our behaviors as we go. as conditions change. Have you slowed down to recalibrate given today’s context, the information you have about yourself, your role, your goals and the larger environment?
See also: Mailchimp’s burnout strategy? Collective power take-off, summer hours
Another way to give ourselves a significant boost in energy, mood, and tracking is by setting goals. Most of us anchor goal setting to a calendar year, birth year, or working anniversary, but there’s nothing stopping you from just making the start of the second half of 2021 reason enough! Goals are critically important to changing our current mindset, as they generate a future for us and can excite us and lift our spirits – and it’s not just when we achieve them, but goals us make us feel better from the moment we first declare and share them. That’s why we’re so excited about vacations not just when they start, but from the moment we book our reservations. So this week I’m working on creating, writing, and sharing with others a set of focused goals for myself that will give me meaning and fulfillment. If I asked you what your goals were for the rest of the year, would you have an answer?
HR needs to be prepared for other challenges on the horizon, maybe even sooner than we hope. A boiling recruitment market and workforce shortages, pent-up risk of attrition, high employee expectations for progress around DCI, handling a messy hybrid work model and return in offices will all contribute to stressing us more. And it’s all on top of the status quo with annual enrollments, compensation reviews, and performance management. Will you join me in giving you the mid-year reset you sure need and deserve? If so, send me a tweet @benbrooksny, or contact me on LinkedIn. Let’s do it together!
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