HR Sanity: The foundation for a mentally healthy workforce

by Marie Terhechte

One of the main goals of HR professionals is to make everyone in the organization feel comfortable. As a result, HR teams are constantly communicating with employees to identify their needs and any potential issues. But who’s looking after the wants and needs of the HR team?

According to Lattice’s 2021 “The state of People Strategy” survey HR leaders are still experiencing challenges due to the pandemic. 42% of the survey participants say they are overwhelmed by too many projects and responsibilities, resulting in 67% saying their department is overworked. This increased workplace stress can lead to severe mental health issues. 

So let’s take a deep dive and raise awareness around the topic HR sanity and find out who cares for the carers?

What does HR sanity mean?

Mental health is important for all employees, but HR managers are often forgotten when it comes to mental health and wellbeing as they’re the ones supporting people through challenging times. This is where the term “HR sanity” comes into play. It describes the mental and physical health of HR managers and creates a space to explore who they can turn to for support and other wellbeing strategies.

Why is HR sanity so important?

Often HR managers are the first point of contact and provide support to all employees. HR managers represent the company and ensure everything runs smoothly. However, this makes it all the more important that their mental health isn’t the last port of call – in fact, it should be the first. Only when the HR department is mentally healthy and motivated can they shape a positive company culture and act as strong role models for the rest of the company.

A happy, healthy HR department is crucial, especially during uncertain times where we must constantly adapt to new situations. HR must inform their team about new measures, set expectations and keep everyone happy at the same time – even when people are working from home. As a result, HR carry a huge load on their shoulders.

How can you support the mental health of HR managers?

So how can we take care of the carers? How can other departments, CEOs or colleagues within the HR team improve the mental health of HR representatives and reduce sources of workplace stress?

Small changes can make a huge impact on the wellbeing of the HR team. Start by acknowledging the fact that HR representatives can’t be perfect role models for everyone. They may be developing internal feel-good strategies, but that doesn’t mean they feel good all the time. HR managers have the same problems as anyone else – they might be coping with homeschooling the children while working from home, or they may struggle to stay motivated during the cold, dark winter months. HR managers deal with any number of work-related or personal problems, so take this into consideration and lower expectations and pressure. 

Setting clear targets and delegating tasks realistically helps manage workplace stress. By setting clear priorities the HR team will face fewer disappointments and more successes – which is crucial for the ego and a healthy state of mind. Maybe it’s time the HR team is expanded to cope with increased workload in these stressful, challenging and uncertain times?

Within our HR sanity campaign we’ll dive deeper into “Why HR sanity matters?” We’ll find out how to strengthen the core of a company’s well being for the sake of the mental health of the entire workforce. You’ll learn more about inexpensive ways to make your HR team happy and best practices to improve communication within the HR team. So stay tuned – and be nice to each other 😉

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