GeneralHr Library

Hey HR! Put on your own oxygen mask first!

Source | LinkedIn : By Laura Mazzullo

Most of us have heard this advice from airlines, in the event of an emergency, reminding us that to take care of our own health and safety first. In doing so, we become more capable of helping others. Who needs to be reminded of this more than the professionals working in Human Resources?

The nature of their work ensures they are considering retention, employee engagement, career development, career progression and much more for their employee population. Working in Human Resources means a ton of energy is exerted towards others, and Human Resources professionals are some of the most intrinsically generous people I know. HR pros likely consider the well-being of others (i.e. their employee population) more often than they consider their own. This is not sustainable. We must remind HR professionals to put their ‘own mask’ on first.

I have encountered many HR professionals who consistently partner with their staff to address critical issues such as employee experience and career trajectory, but these same HR professionals are quick to neglect their own career development and engagement. This doesn’t work.

If an HR department isn’t taking care of itself, how can they properly consider the well-being of their staff? In order to keep up with the rapid speed of the advancing, changing and expanding discipline of Human Resources, an organization must ensure their HR department is fully engaged. We must take care of HR first.
There are many instances where HR must ask itself “How are we doing in this arena?” before they can ask it of their employees. That question should be asked constantly.

Lately, I’m seeing this as a bigger issue than ever before. As HR becomes even more dynamic as a discipline, Human Resources professionals must do a better job of ensuring their own team has its own ‘oxygen mask’ on first! The two biggest areas I’m noticing requiring extra attention are:

  • Vacation Time/Work-Life balance

How often do we hear HR professionals reminding their employee population to leave work at a reasonable hour? Or to take their allotted vacation days? Yet, sometimes you will find the HR department is one of the last to leave at the end of the day and the least likely to take a holiday. If your employees see you feeling burnt out in HR, it isn’t encouraging for their own work-life balance. If your firm (as many are!) is focused on building a more flexible work environment and encouraging balance between work and personal life, ensure your team is leading from the front. What example does your HR team set?

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