“The sun did not shine
It was too wet to play
So we sat in the house
All that cold, cold, wet day”
In my last blog I drew inspiration from ”The Ragged Trousered Philanthropist”. Today it is the “Cat in the Hat” and seems entirely appropriate as I sit looking out of the window on what in June should be a lovely summer’s evening, but in reality looks and feels more like November. However the fact that I am unable to go outside to play has not caused me to reach for my collection of Dr Seuss stories. Today I was reading the Cat in the Hat to a group of pre-school children in Barking. I was taking part in a project to ensure that children in the area see some positive male role models and had to resurrect my story-telling skills. It did not help that I was in fact quite nervous, well-outside of my comfort zone and I have to say they were a tough crowd.
I did leave though feeling that I had done something worthwhile and I do think that it is important to remind ourselves from time to time about what our work in HR is actually all about. Leadership programmes, employee engagement, 360 degree appraisal schemes and competency frameworks are not ends in themselves. They are merely the tools that they use to enable our organisations to be in a better position to meet the needs of 3 to 5 year olds in our Children’s Centres, as well as those of all our other service users. People working in HR are grappling at the moment with the huge challenges associated with budget reductions and organisational change. As we seek to advise our organisations on how navigate our way through these challenges, I think it remains hugely important to stay grounded an remember what it is all about.
Recently I also came across an article from Time Magazine entitled “How to be Happier at Work” (24th May – Time Business section). I cannot imagine why my eye was drawn to this, but I have to say that “happiness” is not a word I associate with work at the moment. It is interesting yes, rewarding also, but quite tough. The three tips in the article were:
– Learn Inner Calm
– Increase Emotional Resilience
– Develop the Habit of Wishing Success on Others
“Yes please” I thought as I opened the article and was a bit disappointed to find that the analysis of how to achieve the above was a little superficial. It may take me a little longer to become calm and fully resilient. However my message would be that in our busy lives it is worth investing time in ensuring that we as HR professionals are emotionally healthy. We need to be to make the good judgements that are required and we need to ensure that we can help create the environment where difficult decisions are taken in a calm and ordered way and that people are resilient to the impacts those decisions will have .
Having just returned from rather warmer parts to a in-box full of challenging issues it has caused me to reflect on the fact that for HR to have that sharper edge we have to remember our core purpose and to take care of our own emotional health.