HR Staff Need Self-Care, Too
By Sara Mackey, Marketing Communications Specialist
Statewide Marketing Consortium, Wisconsin Technical College System
It should go without saying that if conditions are difficult for employees at their jobs, they are likely difficult for HR employees as well. Probably even more so.
And there is no doubt these past couple of years have been challenging on the front-line and support staff, the health care, the high-demand workers of all types, cleaning crews, facility maintenance, rule enforcers, security workers, the cabinet-level staff, the administrative people, the working from home workers (though they may be somewhat sheltered from some of the challenges).
Let’s just admit, it’s been a few tough years. That means, you, our human resources staff have had it especially tough. Often, you’ve been responsible for COVID regulations, communications, and protections in the workplace. You often oversee workplace safety of all kinds, including security and emergency response training. Fewer employees are making it to work for various reasons (including COVID, a family member with COVID, childcare issues, mental health concerns, filling in when family members who normally provide support are not available, etc.), and you probably deal with the repercussions of absences. You often know about people’s personal concerns that can weigh on you.
As you well know, many people left the workforce entirely! This required YOU to hear complaints about attrition, doing more with less, posting open positions, filling positions, on-boarding new staff, etc.
Please don’t forget, that as you may remind staff to take a wellness break or a mental health break occasionally, you need to do the same. Why not consider making room in your life for new habits like fitting outdoor exercise into your day, taking that long-delayed vacation, adopting a pet, visiting family, calling a friend, planning a “girls’ night” or a “game night” with friends? Do whatever you can to help restore your mind and body, improve well-being in general and feel more like your authentic self. It will improve your work-life balance and help prevent burnout.
If you need more ideas, your local technical college might offer a cooking class, maybe a woodworking class or a sewing class to learn or improve on a skill. In addition, the technical colleges offer all kinds of services for the community – you might be able to get a discounted hair cut or manicure at the campus salon, where students are perfecting their craft. Many of our campuses have dining rooms where culinary arts students prepare a gourmet meal at a discounted rate. Stop at the campus coffee shop during lunch. Your local college campus might also offer theater and/or open gyms nights you could attend. You might be surprised by the many options available at a low cost.
Just consider that you have been dealing with many of the same things your employees have been dealing with, and often you’re at the front end of those issues, being looked to for solutions to those problems. Don’t forget to take your own best advice to take care and to give yourself a break. Hope to see you on the beach.