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Balancing Loss Management and Self-Care in HR Roles

Practical strategies for maintaining well-being while supporting colleagues and organisations

Loss Management and Self-Care in HR Roles

Do you work in Human Resources? You will know that as an HR professional, you are the backbone of organisations, responsible for managing a wide range of tasks that span from recruitment and employee engagement to performance evaluations and conflict resolution.

Amid these responsibilities, you may find yourself dealing with various forms of loss within the workplace, including redundancy, organisational changes, personal losses of colleagues, and sometimes death in service of colleagues.

You may face challenges in handling loss, so here are some practical strategies for maintaining well-being while effectively supporting your colleagues and organisations.

The Nature of Loss in HR

Loss comes in many forms in the workplace, and HR professionals are frequently exposed to its emotional toll. You may witness the departure of valued employees due to resignations, layoffs, or retirements.

Organisational restructuring, mergers, or downsizing can also lead to changes in teams, roles, and reporting structures, resulting in a sense of loss and uncertainty among employees. Additionally, you might experience personal grief when you lose colleagues you’ve worked closely with.

Coping Strategies - Loss Management and Self-Care in HR Roles

Acknowledge Emotions: It's crucial to recognise and validate your own emotions when dealing with loss. Denying or suppressing feelings can lead to burnout and emotional exhaustion. Sharing these feelings with trusted colleagues or seeking support from mental health professionals can be immensely beneficial.

Establish Boundaries: HR professionals often take on the role of supporting others, making it easy to neglect your own needs. Setting clear boundaries and scheduling regular breaks can help prevent emotional exhaustion. This might involve limiting work-related discussions after office hours or designating specific times for self-care activities.

Develop a Support Network: Building a strong support network within and outside the organisation is essential. Connecting with fellow HR professionals or joining industry groups can provide a safe space to share experiences and seek guidance. Peer support helps alleviate the feeling of isolation that can come with dealing with loss.

Practise Active Listening: When employees express their concerns or grief, practise active listening. Showing empathy and offering a compassionate ear can help employees feel heard and understood. This, in turn, can contribute to a more positive workplace culture.

Prioritise Self-Care: Regular self-care routines are essential for maintaining mental and emotional well-being. Engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation, such as exercise, hobbies, meditation, or spending time with loved ones, can help you to recharge and manage stress.

Seek Professional Help: There's no shame in seeking professional help when dealing with overwhelming emotions. Consider talking to a grief specialist who can help with the added stress and burnout. These professionals can provide coping strategies tailored to your unique challenges.

Continuous Learning: Staying updated on best practices for coping with loss and managing emotional well-being is vital. Participating in workshops, seminars, or online courses can equip you with valuable tools to navigate challenging situations more effectively.

HR professionals play a crucial role in supporting employees and organisations during times of loss and transition. While your responsibilities can be emotionally demanding, implementing strategies to cope with loss and prioritise self-care is essential for your overall well-being.

By acknowledging your emotions, establishing boundaries, seeking support, and practising self-care, you can continue to excel in your role while maintaining your mental and emotional resilience. In caring for yourself, you can better care for those you support in the workplace.

Jill has collaborated with Nicola Green Consultancy to provide presentations on the impact of grief and loss in the workplace - loss management and self-care in HR roles. The presentations provide an opportunity for all attendees to view grief and loss through a different lens, whilst educating themselves on the facts, impact of physical and psychological symptoms and practical advice and support. Starting this conversation in an empathic way at work will only lead to improved culture and increased engagement and loyalty. Please contact Jill for further information.

About Jill

Jill Attree

Jill Attree is a Grief Specialist, based in Dorset. Jill has helped grievers throughout the UK by listening without judgement, analysis or criticism - so that you can move forward through your loss. To help you create a brighter tomorrow. Find out more about Jill here.


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