How are you? I’m sure that is a question you have asked others on an almost daily basis during the ongoing pandemic; but how many times have you asked it of yourselves?
Inevitably, there has been a great deal of focus over the past few weeks on how organisations are treating their employees, and the support and initiatives that have been implemented for workforces. In many cases, these will have involved some difficult decisions and, in some instances, involved some less than pleasant conversations with employees who have been furloughed, been placed on reduced hours, subjected to reduced pay or even lost their jobs entirely. Understandably, the focus in these situations has been on the affected employees, but what about those individuals who have had to make such difficult decisions and been involved in carrying these out?
HR professionals will be at the heart of such measures, often with the expectation of being the bearers of bad news and working through the practical implications for employees. This is no easy task, but how many organisations are also offering additional support as needed during the process?
We all know how easy it can be to get caught up in work, to the extent of putting our own needs to one side. In such difficult, unprecedented times, however, self-care is vital for both physical and mental health, particularly if working remotely means we are physically working apart from colleagues and our usual workplace support systems, may be juggling caring responsibilities more than ever, and are separated from loved ones.
As HR and reward professionals, you will no doubt be the ones advising staff on the support available to them to safeguard their health and wellbeing during the pandemic. Without meaning to sound patronising, now is the time to follow your own advice and take advantage of the health and wellbeing initiatives and mental health support avenues you will have been instrumental in putting in place.
All too often, HR professionals will be the ones asking ‘how are you?’ Just do not forget to ask yourself the same.