Who’s looking out for you?

Who’s looking out for you?

Professionally, this year has been truly challenging for HR and L&D practitioners. We’ve all had to cope with lots of pressure, quick turnarounds and fresh challenges. But we’ve all got through it, hopefully. I have seen development [initiatives] designed really quickly, wellbeing resourced on the go, HR policies adapted on the fly and agile and flexible working in practice. We’ve been amazing to get through the past few months.  

At this year’s CIPD Annual Conference and Exhibition, I heard Tali Shlomo talk about this very point ‘the importance of checking in with yourself’. She made me think about the impact of these challenges, especially when I speak to people within my network. 

It might be that we are tired – no, knackered – after working long hours and trying to manage the whole work-life balance thing. I know that I’ve been emotional, and some of us may have been supporting colleagues dealing with some tough stuff. I’ve definitely been running on empty sometimes. My concern is that as we go into the winter months, the option for getting out and about becomes less attractive or more difficult. For example, some may feel unsafe running on dark nights.

HR and L&D spend most of their time supporting colleagues and the wider business, so who is supporting us? Because we also need support. A few ideas:

  • Are you taking the time to get out during the day? Maybe a walk to the shops or go for a coffee while it’s daylight. Flex your day to do this.
  • Call someone, or go for a ‘walk and talk’, or share a coffee (or something stronger/sweeter) and network.
  • Is this the time to be coached or maybe mentored?. If you have been thinking about it, now is the time to do it.
  • Maybe try doing something different, something you have never done before – just to break the flow of work and life at the moment.
  • Be there for your wider network by getting in touch and saying ‘hello’.

Don’t forget that if you are really finding it hard at the moment, reach out. Support will be there, and if you’re a CIPD member, you can access their free wellbeing helpline services, resources, and tools to support your wellbeing.

Make the most of your support network, and keep being amazing, reflect on what you have achieved over the past few months.


About Daniel

Daniel volunteers for CIPD Manchester Branch and leads its L&D special interest group, delivering online learning and networking opportunities. Daniel often steps up as master of ceremonies for online gatherings such as our annual meeting and Zoom socials. In his day job, Daniel is the Learning and Skills Development Manager at National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Follow Daniel on Twitter @DanielT_LnD

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