There’s no denying that Human Resources has been a challenging space for the past several years with the shift in workplace demands and a staggering number of professionals reporting that burnout is their biggest concern as we all enter 2024. A survey of human resources professionals reported that 57 percent of HR leaders said they love their profession, but 62 percent are considering exiting it! (According to The Changing Face of HR in 2024, Sage, 2022). Sharing sentiments like there is just too much work to be done and not enough people to do it. How can HR Leaders be the backbone that drives and maintains culture and compliance and at the same time take care of their own health and professional development? It’s a conundrum, but one that is going to need some focus as we continue to build HR’s future competencies and confidence.
Start with you! Bringing your best self to your role and your organization. You can’t take care of anything or anyone else unless you take care of yourself first. Here are four superpowers to consider developing as you put together a holistic approach to adding to your superpower toolbox in 2024:
1) Self-improvement and professional development go hand in hand. When we take care of the inside we can concentrate and make time and space to pursue developing our skills and experience and the professional prowess that we share with the world. Make an effort to take care of yourself inside and out. Consider pursuing HR certifications, such as SHRM (Society for Human Resource Management) or HRCI (Human Resources Certification Institute), if you haven’t already. Do a self-audit of your own subject matter expertise. Do you need to build skills in a certain area to better support your organization and your own professional development? Focus on the learning that best suits paving the best path for you and your career.
2) Having strong interpersonal skills is critical, and just because you are in human resources doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to get frustrated sometimes, that’s the human part of the job! The more experiences we have, the better we get at handling them. You are often the one who is facilitating the conflict and the key to resolving these situations is understanding the situation and being able to relate to the employees. Be empathetic, a good listener and give yourself the time to articulate your thoughts clearly.
3) Dealing with difficult situations is the norm for the HR professional. Developing emotional intelligence and resilience is a constant journey. You can improve this skill through experience, training and self-reflection. Invite colleagues to give you feedback on how you can improve, because we all can improve and we need to be open to constructive feedback.
4) Finally, you have to walk the walk! Demonstrate the behavior and the values that you expect from others. They are watching you, even when you think they aren’t. You must act as a role model for professional behavior, even on the days when you feel like you can’t. Practice patience and take a break when you need to.
Bringing your best self to your HR role requires a commitment to self-care, ongoing learning and agility, and a genuine desire to support and develop other employees and the big picture of an organization’s vision for success. By focusing on developing these four superpowers, you will set the stage to becoming even more effective in your role in HR for your employees and for yourself!
by Pam Thornton