How to minimise HR stress during periods of high change

As the stress and conflict absorbers of an organisation, a HR professional’s day can be filled with high-pressure situations, hard conversations, tight deadlines and negative energy. It is no wonder your HR team are susceptible to burnout.

But as one of the most crucial teams in your organisation, you can’t afford for them to skip a beat. So how can you manage HR stress, particularly during high change periods like restructure and redundancy? Here are some tips to help.

Check-in regularly

Open and regular communication with your HR team is one of the best ways to prevent stress and burnout. Check in to see how they are going or if there is any additional support, training or resources they need to be more effective in their role. Ask for feedback and suggestions – and implement actions and improvements as necessary.

Also, make sure they know what is going on within the organisation, particularly around any change that is happening. This information is what can ease fears and frustrations and help your organisation and remaining workforce to keep moving forward.

Set realistic workloads and clear priorities

If one thing is certain in HR, it’s that unexpected situations will arise. Help your team handle these calmly and effectively by being both clear and realistic in your expectations and deadlines.

Discuss the priority of tasks when unexpected situations happen, so they can reshuffle their day as needed. These conversations will help your HR team to be more productive and less stressed through their workday.

Keep in mind that your HR team needs to be well supported to be in a position to support the rest of your team. Foster a culture where HR professionals can call out for help and discuss their workload with you when it gets too much.

Praise and recognise efforts

We’ve established already that the role of HR isn’t easy. Don’t compound it further by not showing appreciation, giving recognition or neglecting their intrinsic motivators.

Make sure your HR team are regularly praised and rewarded for their hard work and dedication to the company.

Offer support before and after difficult conversations

No one enjoys sitting an employee down and telling them they aren’t performing well, have had a complaint made against them or no longer have a place in the company because their position has been made redundant.

Your HR team is likely to encounter some pretty big emotions through these conversations and sometimes even personal attacks. While every step is often made to help the employee cope, the HR manager can often be forgotten. Don’t think that because “it’s part of the job” that they won’t be impacted by these conversations. Offer support – and at the very least, a debrief after the conversation.

Develop a panel of specialists they can call on

While the role of your HR team is to manage staff, they shouldn’t be expected to know everything or take on everything.

Have a panel of specialists they can call on for leadership development, outplacement programs and employee retirement programs and assistance, get tailored advice around leadership, corporate change, conflict resolution, redundancy, employment law and culture, or refer to for issues that go beyond their scope, like an Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

These additional resources allow your HR team to feel both empowered and supported by knowing that not everything rests on their shoulders.

Spread the HR load

Make sure that you have an adequate number of people in your HR team so that your staff can have the necessary breaks and holidays they need to work productively and effectively.

This may involve cross-training employees to reduce the strain on your HR team when it does become busy, or someone is away and gives you extra resources on hand if there are difficult tasks or situations that need to be addressed with a level of urgency.

Find out how we can help support and empower your HR team through change, restructure and redundancy, call us today on 1300 27 83 45.

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