Unilever global head: How to manage your HR team’s well-being

While HR takes care of everyone during the crisis, who’s taking care of HR?

Unilever global head: How to manage your HR team’s well-being

As you check-in with leaders and employees on their well-being amidst the pandemic, are you also keeping tabs on your HR team members?

Many agree that HR’s role has become crucial in helping organisations navigate the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, with Rashmi Sharma, global learning & wellbeing lead - South East Asia & ANZ, at Unilever going so far as to call HR the “frontline heroes in the corporate sector”.

With HR pushed to help tackle crisis management, including overall health and safety, employee engagement as well as wellness, who’s taking care of HR?

READ MORE: Mental health: How to lead by example

“[HR] have been more hardly impacted, in terms of…well being,” Sharma said. “And what we've seen work is one is the [focus on] purpose.”

She shared that as a very purpose-driven company, Unilever encourages employees, including their HR team members to “discover their own purpose and how it connects to their work”.

They’ve found that most HR professionals believe in things like unlocking human potential and taking care of people.

Thus, to keep team members inspired and motivated, she said you can do the following:

  • Remind them how “hardships” during the pandemic are connecting them with their purpose at work as well as personally
  • Inspire them with stories on how their work is impacting people
  • Demonstrate how their work allows others to continue doing their jobs and ensures business continuity

READ MORE: Why COVID-19 is aggravating leadership burnout

“Like any other employee, we need to take care of our HR folks as well,” she said. “Anything that you do for the rest of the employees, make sure you do specifically well for HR, because they are the people who are going to take care of those employees.

“I think it just boils down to energising them and inspiring them [with] the bigger picture around this.”

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