I think it’s fair to say the Human Resources function has evolved considerably over the years but perhaps more drastically than ever since the #pandemic hit us globally last year. #HR teams have had to keep up with ever-changing workplace health and safety rules and regulations, and many have also become experts in delivering furlough schemes, redundancies and #workplacewellbeing initiatives. Not only do #HRprofessionals have the responsibility of communicating new safety measures and protocols, ensuring compliance to new protocols, and maintaining business as usual in the new #workfromhome set ups, HR also carry a huge emotional burden of supporting and motivating people at levels and from all departments within their organisation.
I expect a large percentage of HR professionals have had more difficult conversations over the last year than in previous years. Potentially HR have seen more tears, felt more anguish and experienced more stress than ever before. Let’s not forget, HR professionals are quite likely in the line of work they’re in because they care about people – so when the people they support are suffering, there is a knock-on effect. That's without even considering that some HR professionals will also be parents juggling #homeschooling, or acting as #carers for those in vulnerable groups.
No doubt there are a vast range of answers to that question. At one end of the scale I’ve had conversations with some HR professionals who have felt very isolated and ill-equipped to deal with the emotional roller coaster ride they’ve found themselves on. But at the other end of the scale I’ve worked with some amazing organisations investing massively into the #wellbeing of their #HRteams, equipping them with new #coachingtools and #wellbeingresources to boost their #personalhealth and to support the #mentalhealth and wellbeing others.
I confess it was a good few weeks back, towards the end of 2020, when I first had the idea for this blog post. When I started writing I soon realised the man I needed to speak with to gain a better insight into the world of #HRsupport was Richard Goff, Chair of three #HRnetworkinggroups including The People Director Partnership. I had the pleasure of interviewing Richard in December and you can watch our conversation right here.
It was truly inspiring to hear how much the #HRcommunities that Richard works with have come together and risen to the long list of challenges that the pandemic has created. It was also fascinating and enlightening to learn that 2020 could be seen as a watershed moment bringing big topics into focus – not just #mentalhealth and #workplacewellbeing, but also #diversityandinclusion, and #leadershiptrust (influencing big decisions about how and where we work in the future).
Whilst I started writing this blog with genuine concern that HR professionals might not be getting the support they need to in order to stay well (and this is my concern for a great many), through my conversations I’ve also been reminded that:
A sense of community is so value in times like these
HR are a resilient bunch (but that should not be taken for granted)
HR professionals have been reframing recent challenges and seeing them as opportunities to transform the way we operate and shape the #FutureofWork
If you would like to join an #onlinecommunity that is specifically designed to support the #healthhappinesswellbeing of its #members, the free members area is now available on my site. To sign up, simply click the link below which immediately gives you access to my 5 step wellbeing challenge. This is just one of many coaching tools and resources that will be available for free to all members:
Lastly, I‘d like to say a huge thank you to Richard Goff for all his time and insights - the HR communities he has built are truly brilliant.