In all your coverage of the implications of the credit crunch for HR (‘Office space race begins as credit crunch deepens’, Personnel Today, 7 October) one thing that I think is often overlooked is the ‘double whammy’ for HR when downsizing occurs.
Effective delivery of that process for the organisation is critical, but when HR itself is also undergoing change, it becomes harder to deliver effective results. Just as individuals can often cope with stress if it is affecting either their personal life or their work life, when it affects both the pressure can become too much causing the individual to crack under the strain.
I have recently been coaching an HR manager who is finding the negative focus of his work too much to bear. Added to this, the lack of recognition of the important contribution he is making and putting himself last is sapping his motivation.
There has to be balance if you keep adding water to a glass of orange juice, not only will it overflow but the juice will get more and more diluted, so that the flavour will eventually disappear. For this HR manager, the more time he spends focusing on others at the expense of his own needs, the less effective he becomes.
If HR is not in a good place, it won’t provide the appropriate support to managers that create the right impression for when the turnaround inevitably happens.
Hilary Jeanes, director, Purpleline Consulting