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Are any other HR people feeling a bit lonely in all this :(

Hi

Sorry its a self indulgent one.

Just wondering if anyone else is feeling a bit lonely?  I have streams of people coming in to my office concerned about it and asking what our plans are for WFH and sickness and about 101 other queries and being openly worried and I have to sit here and be the cabin crew and exude calmness.  Yet I am just as concerned as everyone else.

Managers and Directors etc look to us for calm, measured guidance and practical advice, and being so close to the 'inner circle' and hearing first hand the impact on the business etc.....very worrying, I'm feeling a bit forgotten about and just wondered if anyone else is feeling the same?  It just feels like sometimes people forget that we count as employees too?  

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  • Johanna

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    17 Mar, 2020 09:06

    Hi Samantha thanks for expressing this because I am 100% sure this will be fairly typical! That’s where the Community can help. I don’t work directly in the HR/people team at the CIPD but I am super grateful for the way my colleagues who are are handling things and keeping us all informed.
  • I do as they let my Boss go last week and I am due to get another Boss join today. They forget we are employees and assume we are not affected. I am also an at risk person, but at least I have a laptop to WFH if needs be.
  • In reply to Jules:

    Thanks Johanna :)

    Jules it is comforting in a way that I'm not alone, as someone who is usually level headed about most things I'm surprised at how worried I actually am, and its like my fear is getting fed on an almost 15 minute basis by everyone else coming in to tell me how worried they are!

    And don't get me started on the conspiracy theories cranking my anxiety up, I normally love a good whacky conspiracy too :(
  • In reply to Samantha:

    I have just been asked about a pregnant lady. She has 2 weeks left before holiday, then mat leave. She is 35 weeks pregnant, I suggested that she actually starts holiday, then mat leave, as would happen if she was sick. People are acting bonkers, that's what is stressing me out.
  • In reply to Jules:

    I think it hit me when I saw the empty shelves in my local Tesco this weekend, it genuinely was like something from 28 Days Later and since then I've not been doing so well. Its funny, when another employee has a bit of a 'do' and gets openly stressed its all understanding and #bekind etc. yet if I slip and am a bit short with someone for mithering me about something really unimportant (at the minute) I'll probably get complained about. If I grit my teeth anymore they will be nubs within 2 weeks :D
  • In reply to Samantha:

    I know, my new Boss has just swanned in and said " tell me who is pregnant in the business". I am already feeling under pressure and stressed.
  • Not self indulgent at all, Samantha! I think you've said what we are all feeling! I know I and my boss are exhausted with constantly with the need to keep up with what's going on so we can tell staff what they need to do and try and carry out crisis planning to know what we should do next. Alongside that I'm trying to keep calm at home so my ten year old son doesn't pick up on my anxiety and then lying awake at night with my own anxiety disorder in full blown panic mode.

    In some ways today has been a bit easier for me as we now know what we need to do (close all our sites for three months, plan to lay off staff from April etc, stop business as usual) and I now know I'll be working from home form next week and probably on short time working from April. It feels like the worst has happened and now I can move forward.

    I really appreciate being able to come here and say all this to people as I've been putting a brave face on it for my family, my colleagues and my boss so being able to admit how I'm feeling is so helpful.
  • In reply to Jacqueline:

    I am too having full blown anxiety and have had to take valium and betablokers to help. My husband was made redundant last week as well.
  • I think the problem for me is that the situation is changing on an almost minute by minute basis. We just get finished preparing a plan and communications ready to send out and then it changes. Its really tough to keep up and because I am trying to keep up to date for the business I am reading far too much about this which is not great for my own wellbeing.

    There are also so many sources of information and not all of them are reliable - some seem to be really scaremongering and of course employees see this and think the worst so fighting the "fake news" out there is also tough.
  • Yes, I know what you mean. I have just described it to someone as "work has sucked all of the calm out of me to give to other people, and I've got none left for myself".

    In the weird situation today of alternating between starting to draft a redundancy policy, and getting stress-management and mental health materials refreshed to help people if they are isolated!

    Self-care all the way now, time to get those protective strategies in to get me through as this is going to be a looooong marathon from the look of it.
  • Totally feeling the same! You're definitely not alone. I think the hardest part is that we are all in completely new and unchartered territory and wondering whether we're doing the right thing - add that to the expectation that you're the voice of calm and reason across the business and HR becomes the pillar that everyone leans on at the moment. Self care is so important right now - as is avoiding isolation. I'm here if you want to chat :)
  • In reply to Lauren Anderson:

    I am finding it all a bit surreal. Some aspects are carrying on as normal, we still have the usual casework, support meetings, and so on. There's a lot of contingency related work, so guidance for managers and employees about remote working, best practice etc. Managers seem to have lost the ability to use objective discretion (some didn't have it in the first place). I feel like I am herding kittens sometimes. But remotely, as we have all been asked to work from home if possible, which is now useful as child's school has shut as staff were displaying symptoms and had to deep clean and now it's staffing as they have to wait for the necessary period of time before they can return.
    I have chosen to ignore all social media posts relating to COVID19, jokey, serious, community minded, conspiracy theorist, whatever. I have found this very beneficial to keeping perspective.
    I am trying to practice the Mind 5 ways to wellbeing as well, in simple ways. The daffodils in the garden, the fact that homeworking has helped me reach the bottom of the laundry basket for the first time in years, little everyday things to take heart from.
  • Johanna

    | 0 Posts

    Community Manager

    17 Mar, 2020 14:23

    In reply to Jules:

    Hi Jules sending virtual hugs
  • And in the boat with you all! I've had a horrendous menopause that came on like a tsunami - so now having bizarre anxiety and brain fog, all whipped up by current events. The organisation is looking to me to answer everything and put plans in place and it's just overwhelming. Glad we've got the team here!
  • In reply to Joanne O'Hagan:

    It may help some in these unprecedentedly turbulent and distressing times to contemplate something completely different in the form of imaginary excursion into W.B. Yeats’ ‘Celtic Twilight’:


    I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree,
    And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;
    Nine bean-rows will I have there, a hive for the honey-bee,
    And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

    And I shall have some peace there, for peace comes dropping slow,
    Dropping from the veils of the morning to where the cricket sings;
    There midnight’s all a glimmer, and noon a purple glow,
    And evening full of the linnet’s wings.

    I will arise and go now, for always night and day
    I hear lake water lapping with low sounds by the shore;
    While I stand on the roadway, or on the pavements grey,
    I hear it in the deep heart’s core.

    - might be completely off-topic, but it works for me!