Human resources professionals, today is World Mental Health Day.
I recently had an experience at an event where I got the opportunity to have extended sit-down conversations with HR professionals about what is keeping them up at night in terms of their workplace processes. As an HR practitioner for years, I’ve been there. The long days that turn into long nights, the weekdays that turn into working weekends, the 24/7 connected world that we live in. You can’t turn it off, you’re always on, and oftentimes taking care of others’ problems at work, and beyond.
Let’s face it: as HR professionals we all act as counselors at times for our employees, and the topics we are asked to council on often go well beyond the scope of the workplace. It’s heavy stuff. I kept a box of tissues prominently on my desk and had to swap it out more frequently than I care to admit. Mostly it was the employees who used them. After they left my office, or in quiet times while reflecting on hard conversations, sometimes it was me.
As I reflect on my experience meeting with HR folks from all industries, something struck me sharply and compelled me to convey a thought to be sure you know--or maybe just to remind you: you are not alone in your HR struggles.
ACA compliance, HIPAA regulations, employee relations issues, onboarding, terminations, recruitment, retirement, skills shortages—all the moments that matter for employees are things that keep you up at night because they are complex and oftentimes difficult to navigate. This is true whether you are an HR department of one, or you work for a large company with several HR employees.
Maybe you feel like you are the only one who doesn’t have it all figured out. Good news! I’m here to tell you you’re not alone. As HR practitioners we are all in this together—a largely unspoken (until SHRM conferences!) kinship of sorts, one that when we can get together and talk, there are moments that make us say, “I thought I was the only one.” It comforting to then realize you’re not!
As I sat with these professionals from all HR walks of life, I sensed that they took solace in the fact that “I’ve been there too,” and could empathize with what they were feeling and experiencing in their HR careers, and their everyday work life. They were also intrigued by what technology could do to help them find the right balance for their companies and make it easier on them.
There are solutions out there to help you, the HR professional, take care of you, take stress away, and be more productive. Consider this your call to action to be good to yourself simply by asking for what it is you need to do your job better, taking some time off, unplugging, or doing whatever it is to find your Zen.
Your future self will thank you.