It's no secret that being an HR professional is stressful work. No matter the industry, when managing a team of employees, there is always a new challenge or problem to face. In the midst of managing and maximizing the professional standards of their teams, an HR professional may forget to take care of their own health.
The Importance of Self-Care
HR leaders often have a direct overview of how different team members are feeling, their mental health, job satisfaction and various other details in the pursuit of helping employees be more productive and happy in their roles.
However, this plethora of information can also have negative impacts on the mental health and quality of life for the HR manager in question. This is due to the fact that being responsible for the productivity and happiness of employees can make it a personal mission for many of the best HR leaders, and so the needs of the team may feel more important than their own.
According to Culture Amp’s HR For HR report, merely 34% of HR professionals feel like they are able to switch off from work and make time for adequate rest. Only 41% of HR leaders feel like they are able to bounce back as quickly as necessary, and a mere 43% feel that their stress levels at work are manageable. This showcases the constant trend of HR leaders being at risk of burnout and unhealthy lifestyle habits due to the stresses of professional and personal concerns.
Keeping this in mind, here are a few ways HR professionals can practice self-care and keep themselves ready to face the challenges of their role in the organisation.
Create an internal support team - While HR leaders may not have a point of contact to deal with their concerns, having a designated manager and other leaders within the company may help find better solutions to problems and reduce the daily stress of the workplace. This can also boost organisational efficiency as the leaders become aware of the problems the team members face on a deeper level.
Create an external support team - While internal teams of leaders and managers can be a helpful resource when seeking answers to challenges, it is often also good practice to have a group of peers from other industries who may understand the HR manager's concerns on a more empathetic level. Seeking support and insights from HR managers from other industries may also help create new opportunities for problem-solving and growth that may not have been considered before.
Self-care as a priority - Many HR teams these days are encouraging employees to take time off and disconnect from professional commitments at the end of the work day. However, many HR professionals have also been working longer hours and neglecting their own well-being. This is a path toward burnout, and should be rectified as soon as possible. HR leaders must also follow their own advice and destress after work to maintain a healthy work-life balance and connect better with their teams. This will help the organisation thrive, as a well-rested HR leader is a more productive HR leader.
Daily rituals - While working from home and managing teams remotely, HR managers may often neglect having a healthy daily schedule, as the pressing concerns of the workplace may outweigh their personal needs. However, having a list of 2 or 3 daily rituals that must be done no matter what can help rebalance and reorient HR managers and keep them healthy. These rituals could be as simple as drinking 1-2 glasses of water every hour to stay hydrated, taking a 10-minute break after every hour of work, or putting away phones during family time. Make a habit out of these rituals by setting up alarms and reminders where necessary.
Focusing on self-care is not inherently selfish. On the contrary, having boundaries and making time for oneself is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. No one else can practice self-care for you. While there are many other methods to practice self-care and improve one's quality of life, the methods listed above are a good starting point toward a healthier and more productive future for both HR professionals, and by association, for the organisations they work for.
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