7 Actionable Tactics To Evolve Into A Happy HR Manager
“Happiness is not something readymade, it comes from your own actions.” – Dalai Lama
Are you a happy professional? For most of us, the answer to this question is ‘no’ irrespective of our professional field. There are unhappy engineers, unhappy doctors, unhappy HR managers, and so on. The extent of professional unhappiness has become so enormous that it triggered the Great Resignation but there are 7 actionable tactics to evolve into a happy HR manager.
Around 4.5 million U.S. employees left their jobs during the great resignation and a quarter of Singapore employees decided to leave their jobs in the first half of 2022. During the pandemic, we realized that life is too short to be unhappy and with happiness as the prime focus of their lives, millions of employees resigned from their jobs. In fact, we never wanted unhappiness in our professional lives. We dreamed of becoming happy professionals and living our lives to the best. But, sadly, for most of us, the realities of the professional world shattered our dream, throwing us into a pit of melancholy.
Further, when it comes to the professionals who suffer from the most unhappiness, HR professionals occupy one of the top positions on the list. According to a study, 1 in 3 HR managers is unhappy with their professional life. Why is HR so unhappy? If you are an HR manager, you know some of the reasons from your own experience. The immense burden of professional responsibilities, lack of control over management, and bad feelings from employees are some of them.
Now, the question that arises is, “What to do with this unhappiness?” Should you leave your job? If you don’t want to continue as an HR manager, because you don’t like this field of work, then you might think of switching to some other field. But, if you want to continue in the Human Resource Management field, or you can’t leave your job due to financial responsibilities and other factors, then, we are here to help you. There are some sure-shot tactics that can help you evolve into a happy HR. Yes, you read it right, so you can smile now. Here, in this blog, we’ll discuss the 7 actionable tactics to evolve into a happy HR manager and beacon you on the path to finding happiness in your professional life.
7 Ways to Find Happiness as an HR Manager
#1. Bring ‘flow’ to your work
In the words of Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, “The happiest people spend much time in a state of flow- the state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter. The experience itself is so enjoyable that people will do it even at great cost, for the sheer sake of doing it.” His words reflect an important truth.
When we are absolutely involved in an activity, we experience the psychological state of flow, which is immensely enjoyable. It is the same state that you experience when you do things that you love such as playing video games, listening to your favorite music, and so on. If you can experience the psychological state of flow at work, obviously you’ll evolve into a happy professional. But, how to bring ‘flow’ to your work? The following are some ways through which you can experience the psychological state of flow.
- Have a clear concrete objective: Having a clear, concrete objective is one way to pave closer to experiencing the psychological state of flow. Video games, sports, and board games are instrumental in experiencing the psychological state of flow as the objective is very clear- you have to beat your opponents. Similarly, you should also establish clear objectives behind everything you do. To put it simply, you should know what you aspire to achieve through your actions. This knowledge will set up the foundation for experiencing the flow state. You’ll take one step after the other to reach your final destination. The closer you get to the destination, the greater your excitement level will be and the more flow you will experience.
- Concentrate on a single task: Multitasking is one of the biggest obstacles to experiencing the state of flow. When we do multiple things at a time, we deny ourselves the opportunity to get completely engrossed with a task. Consequently, we keep juggling between tasks and don’t enjoy our work. And sadly, today, most of us engage in multitasking with the intention to be more productive. However, research has shown that multitasking actually reduces productivity. Having said that, multitasking is not only an obstruction to enjoying work but also negatively impacts our productivity. Hence, you should concentrate on a single task at a time. This increases your likelihood of experiencing flow and also gives a boost to your efficiency.
- Make tasks a little challenging but not too difficult for you: When we engage in tasks that are too challenging, we end up feeling frustrated and agitated. Quite the contrary, when we engage in tasks that are too easy, we feel bored. Given that, we are unlikely to experience the psychological state of flow in both cases. The middle path, with tasks that are neither too challenging nor too easy, takes us to ‘flow.’ So, you should make tasks a little challenging but not too difficult for you. Now, you may ask what if there is an extremely complex task to accomplish? Then, you can make it less challenging for yourself by breaking it into small segments. For example, if you have to go through 100 resumes, forget 100 and concentrate on screening 5 or 6 resumes per hour (keep it a little challenging). This will help you flow, enjoy your work and amplify your happiness.
#2. Live in day-tight compartments
Roman poet Horace once wrote, “Happy the man, and happy he alone, He, who can call today his own: He who, secure within, can say: “Tomorrow, do thy worst, for I have lived today.” As human beings, we are habitual of worrying about the future and postponing living. This is especially true for us professionals.
We have long lists of tasks, projects, objectives, events, etc. piled up and with that, we not only stress about today’s work but also worry about the work we have to do tomorrow. There is no trouble in planning for the future, in fact, we should plan for the future. But we need to understand that there is a difference between planning and being burdened by something. We cannot live happy professional lives until and unless we start focusing on the now. Close all the doors and windows to the future and focus only on the tasks that you have to accomplish today. Take today’s burden today. That’s all.
Learn to live in day-tight compartments, where all your focus is on today’s tasks. Even if you know what you need to do tomorrow, there is no point in worrying about it today. Do today well and in doing every today well, all your tomorrows will go well too. So, focus on today’s work. As HR managers you are often occupied with the future, that’s one of the major causes of unhappiness in your professional lives. Come home to the now, the today and you’ll see your professional lives transforming into bundles of joy.
#3. Nurture cordial relationships with the employees
We, the human beings, are social creatures. Cavemen also lived in societies as somewhere deep inside they knew that their happiness lay in having meaningful relationships with others. No matter how far we have come and how advanced we have become, nothing can replace meaningful relationships in our lives. As a professional, if you don’t have cordial relationships with your colleagues or you don’t have friends to count on in your office, you are bound to feel unhappy.
As HR managers, you often create boundaries and maintain some distance from the employees in order to appear authoritative. No doubt, your career demands you to be authoritative but can’t you maintain your authority while having friendly relationships with the employees?
If you observe closely, you can exercise your authority better by making friends with the employees. Workers listen more to the managers who they like and have an inclination towards. So, let go of all the boundaries and embrace friendships with the employees. Have regular cordial and informal conversations with them, listen to their stories and tell them yours, play games with them and conduct other activities that bring everyone together.
All these things will only help you in your career and also add immense happiness to your professional life.
#4. Learn the art of stress management
In the words of Lou Holtz, “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” Stress is an integral part of our professional lives. We can’t run away from it. There is nowhere to hide. No doubt, work stress can make us happy and sick, and as HR managers you often bear high levels of stress, but if you know how to manage stress, it can’t do anything to you. It is similar to how a skilled Karate expert breaks bricks with his hand but an unskilled person ends up breaking his hand with those bricks.
If you have the skills required to handle stressful situations, stress can’t rain unhappiness in your professional life, that’s for sure. Hence, you should learn the art of stress management. Understand yourself, experiment with different stress management techniques, and see what works the best for you. Meditation, Music therapy, Breathwork and, Progressive Muscle Relaxation are some effective stress management techniques that can bring instant relief, regulate your nervous system and also boost your resilience with regular practice.
So, try these out and have some weapons that can help you combat stress. You can also search the internet and explore other stress management tactics. Keep exploring till you find the best stress management weapons for yourself.
#5. Talk to the management more often
As HR managers, you have to listen to the management, and one of the biggest grievances in your professional life is that you have no control over the management. Even when you know that the management’s decisions can lead the organization downfall, you can’t often raise your voice of concern. After all, you are an employee too. But, not giving voice to your opinions makes you deeply unhappy. Then, what’s the solution to this?
It is to talk to the management more often. Find opportunities to interact with the management and engage in meaningful conversations. No doubt, it might feel uncomfortable at first, but soon the awkwardness will vanish and you’ll be delight in the joy of having good relationships with the management.
Moreover, when you have cordial relationships with the management, they become more likely to listen to your opinions. This way, you can overcome the frustration of not having a say in the organization. Along with this, it will also add value to your leadership style.
Additionally, talking to the management can help you perform gap analysis and see where you lag behind their expectations. This analysis can direct you on the path of self-improvement and career development which are both interesting explorations in themselves. The better you become and the more you grow in your profession, the more happiness you’ll find in your life.
#6. Connect your work with a greater purpose
“The very first condition of lasting happiness is that a life should be full of purpose, aiming at something outside self.” These words by Hugo Black reflect an important truth. Our true happiness lies in giving our lives a greater purpose than survival. When we dedicate ourselves to something that creates an impact, we feel waves of inner joy. Have you ever engaged in a charitable initiative or served food to the poor or fed hungry stray animals? How did you feel? I am sure those were one of the happiest moments of your life, that made you feel alive and at your best.
That’s true for all of us. It seems as though ‘giving’ or ‘dedicating ourselves to a cause’ gives us the kind of happiness that nothing else brings. So, you should connect your work with a greater sense of purpose. You can create your own vision statement depending upon the causes that you feel concerned about. For example, you might feed a meal to someone in need every day or on alternate days or twice a week, depending upon your preferences.
Believe me, you should try this out. You’ll be surprised at how happy it makes you feel about your professional life. If your company is involved in any Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, you can get actively involved in them. This will also help you connect your work with a bigger purpose.
#7. Don’t be on 24*7
“You are the Human Resource Manager and you are supposed to be available for your company, the employees, and the management at all times.” This isn’t true. You have your own life to live. Work is just a part of your life and not your life. You are also one of the employees and you have the right to not be available after working hours.
No doubt, there might be some emergencies when you might have to be available outside of the office hours, but there is a difference between sometimes and always. If it’s sometimes, it’s okay. It shouldn’t be always.
Moreover, you should establish a specific channel of communication or code for emergencies. For example, you might ask the employees or the management to give two missed calls if there is a real emergency and your services are needed. That’s it. If there is a perfect balance between your professional and personal life, you’ll enjoy greater happiness in your life.
Summing Up: Actionable Tactics To Evolve Into A Happy HR Manager
Most HR managers live an unhappy professional life. But, living an unhappy professional life is like spending your life in unhappiness as you spend most of your time at work. Given that, if you aspire to live a happy life, you should also find happiness in your professional life.
As rightly said by the Dalai Lama, “happiness is not ready-made, it is a product of your own actions.” The above mentioned are some actionnable tactics that you can take to find happiness in your professional life as an HR. No doubt, you might not see instantaneous results as you begin implementing these tactics, but your persistent efforts will deliver you the intended results. Remember, consistency is the key. Now, wishing you All the Best and immense happiness in your professional life.
Autor Bio: Kiara Miller
Kiara Miller is a keen enthusiast when it comes to writing and she loves to express her views, opinions, and perspectives through her insightful articles. Also, as a content marketing specialist, she loves to design effective content campaigns and has a great knowledge of the kind of content that engages readers the most.
Photo credit: hr.university