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Find the balance: Learn how to add compassion to your HR practices

Written by Staff Writer

January 25, 2022

By Wanita Berry, Head of Human Resources at Wavemaker South Africa

 

 

In a time of ever-changing and ever-evolving human resource practices, it’s imperative that human resource professionals keep up. There are so many rules and regulations – Labour Law, BCEA, B-BBEE, to name a few – that we need to stay abreast of to ensure that the human resource systems in our businesses run smoothly.

How do we strike a balance between being aware of recent developments, dealing with talent (whether good or bad) and managing our personal lives? How do we ensure our people’s health and well-being in a remote working situation? How do we stay sane and in control in a time when we have little or no control? How do we not take our work “home”, bearing in mind we’re already there? 

I don’t have all the answers, and I probably never will. But what I can share is what works for me: eat, pray, love, (not necessarily in that order) (Yes, I’m talking about the book by Elizabeth Gilbert, or the movie with Julia Roberts.)

 Love: How you deal with people 

Firstly, we have to love and make peace with ourselves – who we are and where we come from – if we are going to be able to love anyone or anything else. Love is not only in the way we touch someone, it’s in the way we speak, how we make someone feel. It’s in a smile, a hug (I miss those), an “I care”, a welcome, a handshake. And importantly, it’s in the love we have for what we do, because if you love what you do then it comes across in how you deal with people. 

Eat: How you connect with people 

Eating isn’t just about what goes into our bodies, but what we absorb in terms of people, feelings and learnings. Eating is continuous, a never-ending daily occurrence. We all know the saying, “You are what you eat”. If we look after our health and our bodies, why don’t we look after everything we “absorb” on a daily basis? We are continuously surrounded by people: “absorb” them, stay in touch, connect – really connect, care. And it’s ok to be affected by someone’s hardship. We are human after all.

Pray: How to look out for people’s well-being 

Religious or not, we all pray. We pray for the well-being of our families and friends, we pray for health, wealth, success and love. My day starts and ends in prayer: “Thank you for another day,” I say. “Thank you for my wonderful and caring family and friends. Thank you for my Wavemaker family!”

These are basic things we teach our children, but we sometimes forget them ourselves – these are things that make the world a better place.

 

 

 

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