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HR Leaders, Who Is In Your Support Squad?

hr leadership wellbeing Feb 07, 2024

HR Leaders can banish burnout, and live and lead happier and healthier lives with the right support squad around them.

Often when I start coaching Senior HR Leaders, they’ve felt alone and undersupported for a long time, they’re exhausted, frustrated, and on the brink of Burnout.

For years, whilst they’ve been the shoulder of support for so many others, although they’ve had their team around them, their support squad stops there.  And whilst protecting their team from so much of what is going on in the organisation, they need extremely broad shoulders indeed.

The role of HR, and that of the Senior HR Leader is often misunderstood and underestimated by so many, and when you finish work unless you have friends, family, or partners in the profession, they don’t understand why you care so much.

They don’t understand the often complex, demanding, and varied role of HR.

One minute you’re discussing strategy around the Boardroom table, and the next you’re speaking to someone about a personal tragedy.  You’re working on often confidential projects that you can’t discuss with anyone, and spinning so many other plates that your world can look like the mad hatter’s tea party.

And let’s not pretend that when you’re out socialising and people as what you do, the looks you get, the eye-rolling, the ‘HR Police’ or ‘HR alert’ comments, and all of the feedback about how awful HR is, become tiresome, frustrating, and whilst you can brush them off, eventually hurtful.

A number of my clients don’t feel seen or heard by their CEO or C-Suite colleagues, often having meetings or one-to-ones cancelled or postponed and when they do take place, there’s only the time to talk about the day job, not often about how they’re feeling, what support they need, or how supported they feel.

I’m not always the first coach that my clients have worked with, but I often hear that in working with me, they feel seen and heard for the first time, and I know first-hand how important this is from my own in-house HRD role.

And now in my work as a coach, running my own business, my own support squad is important for my wellbeing, and my success.

So, who’s in yours?

Before you answer that, are you clear on what support you need?

Do you need someone to offload to?

To listen?

To bounce ideas off?

To support your growth and development?

To delegate more to?

To support your planning and delivery?

To support your health and wellbeing?

To cheer you on, to help you succeed, to challenge you, and help you to reach higher?

Do you need someone who understands the role you’re doing?

Is this person, or are these people internal to your organisation?

Are they friends, family, a coach, therapist, mentor, or trainer?

I believe that every HR Leader needs a support squad in their corner, and I hadn’t realised how beneficial this was for my career, until I began to craft it for myself.

You cannot continue to give your all and maintain your health and high performance, without someone supporting you along the way. It’s unsustainable, ineffective, and unrealistic.

So, grab yourself a piece of paper and a pen, and write down all the ways you need support right now. 

Then list all the people in your existing support squad, and where you have gaps, go and find yourself the person or people, to help to fill the gaps.

With Burnout rising at the speed that it is in the HR profession, 2024 must be the year of the happy, healthy, and high-performing HR Pro, and it’s vital that you have the right support squad around you to help this happen.

Many HR Leaders have been led to believe that because you are HR, you don’t need support, it’s time to change that.  And the change starts with you.

Who do you need to recruit into your support squad?



Join me at my upcoming workshop on 20th February Banishing Burnout in HR- Book your place here

I'm the Executive Coach for Senior HR Leaders who are done with running on empty

Clients hire me to help them regain control of their busy lives so they have more time and energy for the things that matter

If that sounds like you, I'd love for us to talk, get in touch here


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