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Florida State Council Affiliate of SHRM

The Imperative of Self-Care for the Human Resource Professional

By Kim LaMontagne, MBA

In the fast-paced and demanding field of Human Resources, where professionals are often tasked with the well-being and productivity of entire organizations, the concept of self-care may seem like a luxury rather than a necessity.

However, as the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and various studies indicate, prioritizing self-care is not only beneficial for individual HR practitioners but also essential for fostering healthier workplaces and more effective HR management strategies.

Statistics Highlighting the Need

The National Alliance on Mental Illness states that 1 in 5 people live (and work) with a mental health condition.

Statistics provided by SHRM shed light on the prevalence and impact of stress and burnout among HR professionals. According to a survey conducted by SHRM, a significant portion of HR practitioners report high levels of stress, with 40% stating that their job is very or extremely stressful. Moreover, nearly one-third of HR professionals report experiencing symptoms of burnout. 

A separate survey revealed that nearly half (47%) of workers have not disclosed (an invisible disability) for reasons that include fear of stigma, inequity and exclusion. 

These statistics underscore the urgent need to take care of our mental health and wellbeing and elevate self-care practices within the HR profession. Ignoring the signs of stress and burnout not only jeopardizes individual well-being but also undermines HR’s ability to effectively support the organization and its employees.

The Impact on Workplace Dynamics

Failure to prioritize self-care within HR can have far-reaching consequences for workplace dynamics and organizational culture. Stressed and burned-out HR professionals are less equipped to handle the myriad challenges they face, from resolving conflicts and addressing employee concerns to implementing strategic initiatives. This can lead to decreased morale, increased turnover, and ultimately, diminished organizational performance.

Furthermore, HR professionals serve as role models within the organization. When they neglect self-care, it sends a message to employees that prioritizing one’s well-being is not important or valued. This perpetuates a culture of overwork and burnout, which can have ripple effects throughout the entire workforce.

Understanding Self-Care in HR

Self-care in HR encompasses a range of practices aimed at maintaining mental, emotional, and physical well-being amidst the pressures of the profession. This includes, but is not limited to, mindfulness techniques, stress management strategies, boundary-setting, healthy work-life balance, and seeking support when needed.

While these practices might seem intuitive, the demanding nature of HR roles often leads professionals to neglect their own needs in favor of addressing the needs of others and the organization.

Self-care isn’t selfish! In fact, self care is essential for maintaining your overall well-being, both physically and mentally. Taking time for yourself, whether it’s engaging in activities that relax you, pursuing hobbies, exercising, or simply resting, is crucial for replenishing energy and managing stress. When you take care of yourself first you’re better equipped to handle life’s challenges and help others.

Prioritize self-care without guilt—it’s an important investment in your health, wellbeing, and happiness.

Strategies for Self-Care in HR

Recognizing the importance of self-care, SHRM advocates for the adoption of proactive strategies to support the well-being of HR professionals. These strategies include:

In Conclusion

Self-care is not a luxury but a fundamental aspect of effective HR management. A mentally healthy culture cultivates a healthier workplace with healthier employees, improves employee engagement, and ultimately, drives greater organizational success.

By prioritizing well-being, HR professionals can better fulfill their roles as advocates for employees and stewards of organizational success. Through proactive measures such as promoting work-life balance, providing training and resources, fostering peer support, and leading by example, organizations can create a mentally healthy culture that values and prioritizes self-care within the HR profession.
 

Kim LaMontagne

Kim LaMontagne, MBA is a Corporate Trainer on Mental Health, International Speaker, Author, and President of Kim LaMontagne, LLC.  She is also the Wellbeing Director for HR Florida State Council, State Trainer & Speaker for National Alliance on Mental Illness, and Certified Facilitator of Addiction Awareness Training through ICARE. 

kim@kimlamontagne.net
www.kimlamontagne.net
603-320-0155
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