Getting "in the zone" with HR

Researchers share their advice on how HR managers should proceed to provide their teams with the opportunity to reach their full potential.

Taking Molineux and Fraser’s findings into account, there are several ways HR leaders can use the information to improve their productivity.
  1. Don’t let your team become stagnant
“A common trap I see leaders fall into is that they have the ‘go-to’ person in their team,” Fraser said.

He said that this leads to one person landing interesting projects and important work that pushes them, while the rest of the team get “business-as-usual projects”, which don’t push them or help them to grow.

“Leaders then complain about the capability gap in their team – which they are perpetuating.”
  1. See pressure as an opportunity to grow
How the individuals in your team perceive pressure will determine whether it propels them into a high-performance state or deep into stress.

Training the team around shifting mindsets and giving them tools to evolve their perception of stress is therefore essential.
  1. Make your team feel safe
When participants in the study felt they had support from their team and their leaders, the feeling of safety helped them get into flow.


“Check in with your team and allow them to confide in you and get things off their chest,” Fraser advised.

“Enable friendships at work, reward team and collaborative behaviours, and regularly recognise achievements.”
  1. Control your environment
Understand that interruptions dramatically drive up stress levels.

“If you want [your team] to grow, do good work and be ‘strategic’, you have to loosen up on the way you let them work,” Fraser said.

He suggested allowing employees to work from home or leave the office to complete projects.

Shifting your internal culture could also help, Fraser said; show colleagues that you respect their time by postponing non-urgent interruptions.
  1. Be human
“Take an interest in how happy your team members are outside of work,” said Fraser. “When your staff feel like they are meeting expectations at home, they get more flow at work.”

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