Understanding human resources evolving role
HR professionals are the go-to people. For everything from a disagreement at work or discussing a change of circumstances to approving leave and building training programmes, they deal with it all.
They are challenged with hard decisions and often take on the brunt of employees’ problems. And a lot of the time, they do this behind the scenes with colleagues none the wiser. But whilst they are busy supporting everyone else, who supports HR?
Whilst this line of work has always been demanding, the pandemic and lockdowns took it to another level. Not only did HR have to deal with the same challenges as everyone else with the new way of working, but they also had to help facilitate it and ensure there was an appropriate support system in place.
Not to mention having to deal with staff cuts at record levels and, of course, feeling the same job insecurity as many of their colleagues. Many of whom were turning to human resources for answers.
HR had to be agile and keep up with ever-changing restrictions. They had to be flexible to allow staff to work on their own time from the safety of their houses. And not forgetting the level of understanding and empathy that was required to help employees through difficult times.
As a result, HR has evolved. It is now an all-encompassing role that takes on the demands of many different departments – from recruitment and finance to mental health first aid and grievance support.
With so much going on in the world of HR at any one time and so many people’s well-being to think about, it can be easy for HR teams to forget about themselves.
That’s why senior leadership needs to ensure HR works within its own positive working environment, the team’s well-being is safe, and job satisfaction is high.
Support the supporters
Just because it ‘falls’ within the HR department, it doesn’t mean they should automatically take it on by themselves. HR professionals can experience burnout too.
With new roles, like mental health first aid, making their way into businesses, it’s important to remember that this doesn’t always have to sit on HR’s shoulders. Yes, they might be the obvious choice, but what if your HR personnel are dealing with their own mental health problems or perhaps this topic hits close to home? They might not have the mental capacity to support others in this specialised way.
Also, who’s to say employees feel truly comfortable opening up about mental illness to these individuals? Perhaps they’d rather speak with someone in another department or someone their own age who can relate. It’s easy to open up these support roles to other willing people with training available to help them develop skills.
A successful business, and a successful team, are willing to help each other – no matter the department. Take a moment to think about the HR people who are constantly checking on your well-being at work, and simply ask if they are ok and if there’s anything you can do to help them.
And at the same time, senior leadership needs to take a more proactive approach when it comes to checking on HR teams. A simple thank you and regular team check-ins can go a long way. At the end of the day, you’ve employed them to make sure your team feel supported. So why wouldn’t you do the same for them?
Let’s look after our people’s people!
Specialist HR technology can help unload the burden of administrative, manual tasks that take up HR professionals’ time and make it easier to manage growing workforces from afar. If you’re interested in supporting your HR team further, get in touch with the Natural HR team.