09 November 2007

How Does HR Cope With Stress?

HR often has this huge advantage: we have offices with doors. This makes sense since we have to conduct confidential conversations.

But then there's the open door policy...

There are days when employees almost queue in front of the HR office. Closing the door from time to time can be very helpful. After all, what are we paid for: talking to nice people or getting stuff done?

Find a soul mate

If you're lucky, you can talk to your boss.

Otherwise I recommend finding a soul mate. If you're the only HR SPOC (Single Point of Contact) in the company, it could be somebody you trust (and you know can keep their mouth shut!). This last recommendation can be tricky. After all, this trusted person also has to deal with their own worries and needs to talk about them sometimes.

Friends? What-cha-mean?

Another possibility is to have friends. This might sound strange, but I recently heard of this revolutionary new idea:

Don't spend every waking hour at the office!

Instead, have a social life and meet people working for other companies (or not working at all). They will have a different perspective and might give you valuable advice or ask interesting questions.


=if("HR headcount" > 1, "this might help", "you're screwed") [1]

If you're the only HR person in your company, this might not work. On the other hand, keep in mind the unofficial US Marine Corp's motto [2]:
Show some fucking adaptability!
What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas

Close the door to the HR office and say whatever you want (as long as your HR colleagues are fine with it). You might say "this is such a wonderful day, I feel like hugging everybody" or "I hate procrastinating, why do we have so many documents to file?" or even "the guy from Purchasing is such an asshole, why do I have to put up with his shit?".

And when the next internal customer (in Dilbert speak: "valued employee" [3]) shows up, you'll be all smiles and say something like "Hi there, what can I do for you?"

[1] I know, I'm an Excel geek. I just couldn't resist ;-)
[2] Actually, I'm not sure if this is really the US Marine Corp's unofficial motto. But I thought it sounded cool. This is a quote from Neil Stephenson's Cryptonomicon. I luh-ho-huv this book!
[3] Dilbert is a comic strip about business and IT. I've been working for IT companies for a long time, but I'm always surprised how many people don't know about Dilbert. Anyway, I couldn't stop smiling for the next 15 hours after an employee once called me "Catbert".


HR Wench said...

Other ways HR deals with stress:
1. Blogging.
2. Reading other people's blogs while at work. :)

The Happy Employee said...

HR Wench, thank you for stopping by!
I actually realized the other day that blogging was indeed a great way to unwind. It makes you think things through and get them out of your head.
And well, I have to confess, reading a post or two at work is really relaxing ;-)