HR Blog

Hey HR: How are You Holding Up?

By Dee Yingst

Whether HR is part of your title or just part of your duties, this one’s for you.

So….here we are….working from home. Or maybe you’re at home but not able to work... or you’re continuing to have to report to work armed with a gallon of hand sanitizer, a homemade mask, and hope.

I’m working from home and I’m grateful for the ability and the opportunity to do so. Strictly speaking, I like working from home periodically, but I really don’t want to do it every day.

I miss my office. I miss the rattling noise the windows make when the neighbor’s HVAC unit kicks on. I miss hearing the elevator bell when the car arrives on my floor. I miss the sounds of the laughter of my coworkers out in the hall. Heck, I even miss the sounds of the water running through the pipes from the restrooms – never thought I’d miss that. Suddenly the really looooooong time it takes for my second computer monitor to power up doesn’t seem so bad.

It doesn’t matter if your title is HR or if HR is just one of your “other duties as assigned.” This is where even the most battle-hardened HR people struggle.  On a good day it can be difficult to achieve balance, and on days like these it can feel nearly impossible. Someone sent me the nicest note some time ago about how comforting it felt that no matter how much stress she was under, she could still count on the smiles and laughter coming from the HR department. That’s our job, isn’t it? To keep up the spirits of the people in our organizations even if we’re not really feeling it ourselves.  

HR people everywhere are sending out all sorts of messages of calm, of inspiration, of ‘hang in there – better days are coming’ and links to websites and phone numbers to resources. We’re checking in on people, we’re asking if there’s anything anyone needs, anything we can help with, etc.

Never let ‘em see you sweat – that’s what we’re taught. I won’t argue the importance of keeping your wits about you no matter the size of the storm swirling around you. The importance of remaining calm cannot be overstated.

In the midst of all this chaos there’s a message I think needs to be heard – by HR people (whether that’s your title or not), managers, organizational leaders, parents, anybody who is tasked with helping to ensure everyone else’s welfare. Lean in, because I don’t want you to miss it.

It’s ok to “lose It” every now and then.

You are human and you have limits – and that’s ok.

Self-care is not selfish. You can’t take care of others if you don’t first take care of yourself.

Those resources you’ve been sending out to others – you can use them too.

Hang in there; you may not feel like you’re making much of a difference but you are. Somewhere someone is feeling comforted by your presence – whether it’s your actual physical presence, your face on a Zoom meeting, or even just your presence via email or text.  Don’t give up. Most importantly, don’t give in to the negative notion that you’re somehow less-than because you can’t always conjure up a smile. Be real. Not perfect.