President’s Message – August 2023

Welcome to August!

If you haven’t noticed, summer is here in the Central Valley! But you probably already knew that just based on the 100+ degree temps. I love this time of the year solely for vine-ripe fruit and other fresh produce – YUM! We are truly blessed with the abundance and variety of fruit and veggies we have – all within arm’s reach. Instead of cancelling vacations like we did in 2020 we are now finally taking them. That’s good. It’s important that we (HR professionals/business owners) take care of ourselves, both at work and at home.

When we prepare for a flight, the airline attendant reminds us during the emergency preparedness to “put on our own oxygen mask first.” By doing so, we become more capable of helping others. Are you guilty of this in your workplace (or home)? The nature of our job means a lot of energy is exerted towards others. We likely consider the well-being of others more often than we consider ourselves. The last few years have put a lot of pressure on the human resources department. HR has essentially been on hyperdrive since the start of the pandemic. HR workers have been faced with far bigger and more complicated jobs since 2020. We are called upon to help people navigate the shift to remote work, and shift back to the workplace, job cuts and furloughs, and all during economic uncertainty. HR roles now involve a lot of morale-boosting tasks. We’ve been asked to adapt corporate culture and etiquette to new and unfamiliar conditions. Tasks that would typically take months to accomplish are now expected to be completed in weeks. We are not only an HR professional; we are also IT, marketer, support staff and now therapists and counselors. Everything has changed since March 2020.

Because of the nature of our profession, we are quick to neglect our own career development and engagement. To keep up with the rapid changes in HR, we must ensure we are fully engaged. If we don’t do this, how can we carefully consider the well-being of our employees? 2020 till now have been the toughest years and our brains have been hyperactive, our hearts strained, and it’s hard to keep them in sync. For me, burnout happens when my head starts moving faster than my heart. My mind is racing with all the things I “have” to do or that I’m afraid of falling behind. This usually results in working with zero intention or inspiration…just going through the motions because I feel like I “have” to.

This brings us back to the beginning of this newsletter…vacations. One of the biggest issues as a HR professional experiences is not taking vacation and balancing our work-life. We remind others to leave work on time or take their vacation days and oftentimes we are the last to leave at the end of day or least likely to take a holiday. We must set an example for our employees. If others see you feeling burnt out, that’s not encouraging a work-life balance.

So, give yourself some grace. We need a break to allow our head and heart to sync. Take your vacation and holidays. Find time to pause in your own way (removing all screen time, phones, etc.). You’ll be surprised that when you get back to your office, business was still moving.
This is a great opportunity to put on our creative caps and find new ways to enjoy summer vacations. I’d love to hear what your vacation was this year and what you do to deal with burn out. For now, today, I am reminding you “put on your own oxygen mask first!

Happy Summer!
Rhonda May

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