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HRNZ as HR for HR

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Human resource professionals are the experts when it comes to workplace concerns. However, there is a gap when it comes to HR professionals navigating problems within the workplace. Who do HR professionals go to, and how can they be better supported?

Who does HR go to when they need help? 

The problem 

In a study conducted by Executive Networks, it was found that HR leaders reported the highest levels of burnout amongst all working professionals surveyed. According to data collected and collated by Culture Amp, 34% of HR practitioners reported finding it difficult to take breaks, and only 43% feel that their stress levels are at a manageable level.  

This data indicates that in the process of supporting others in the workplace, HR professionals are being left behind in workplace wellbeing. This may be a result of a range of factors; however, the lack of a clear support system cannot be ignored. Self-advocacy can be difficult to navigate, as it is significantly more draining than advocating for others. Additionally, challenges are decidedly easier to analyse from the outside; it is easier to work through someone else’s worries than your own. Without a workplace support system, HR professionals are expending added emotional energy and not getting the opportunity to bounce back. Who do HR professionals go to, and how can they be better supported? 

How to negate this 

Forging connections with those who can provide support is essential to begin to negate this drain on HR professionals. According to the Harvard Business Review, the best antidote to burnout is to seek out valuable interpersonal connections as well as to continue to develop one’s personal and professional skills. Through building strong networks of support within one’s industry, finding mentors and mentees helps develop positive relationships and aids in the disruption of burnout development.  

As the professional body for human resources professionals, Human Resources New Zealand (HRNZ) provides resources and opportunities for those within the profession to upskill and connect with other members within the industry.  


What HRNZ offers 

Regional / Branch Events 

One of the most popular and frequent types of branch events are the HR Café Connects. This is a regular opportunity for HRNZ members to network informally in small groups at a café and discuss what is top of mind. This provides HR professionals with a chance to share their current people challenges and hear from others about theirs. It is often challenging to troubleshoot or understand a problem, especially if it is one you have been grappling with for a while. Utilising a network of professionals to help you find a new angle to see the problem may help you find an alternative solution and overcome roadblocks. This will also help you build professional bonds within the industry, and in helping others you may even experience a boost of confidence in your own skills.  

To see what events are upcoming that you may want to get involved in, have a look at our What’s On page.  


Fulfilment in one’s role is a huge part of reducing burnout, in addition to building meaningful connections with others in the industry. HRNZ offers a mentoring programme which aims to facilitate the establishment of mentoring relationships for our members who wish to enhance their professional development and/or give back to the community. Mentorships provide on-on-one connection, reflecting ako (both to teach and to learn).  

Not only does this provide the mentees with immediate access to an experienced industry professional; it also provides the mentors with a fresh perspective on potential puzzles, not dissimilar to the benefits of attending the bigger events. However, the one-on-one relationship is novel, especially due to the terms of the meetings and regularity being dictated by the mentee and mentor, not by the branches. This provides the option to respond directly and promptly to issues you may be facing in the moment. The mentee/mentor relationship, in itself, is a form of HR for HR. 

To see how to become a mentor or mentee, or to learn more about the process, read more here.   

eLearning and Professional Development Opportunities 

HRNZ provides a variety of learning and upskilling opportunities; from virtual summits to in-person forums, as well as an eLearning platform that is being continually developed to remain relevant and topical. These learning opportunities are developed based on reports of consultation with our members. This includes running an annual survey to ensure we are addressing and providing opportunities to upskill in the areas which are of most concern. These educational events and platforms provide occasions for HR professionals to hone their problem-solving skills, offering more creative solutions to meet the needs of everyone involved. Additionally, having updated information on the professional landscape is empowering, reducing self-doubt, and thus reducing factors leading to burnout.  

Check out our learning opportunities here.


In conclusion… 

HR professionals are often not provided the means within their individual organisations to address their personal HR issues. This can result in a lack of fulfilment in the role, increased anxiety and even burnout. However, HRNZ as a member organisation is working to provide these professionals with the tools to address and potentially even solve these puzzles. Not only does HRNZ provide occasions to connect with other members within the industry; there are also many opportunities to upskill through events and the eLearning platform.  


Resources and Further Reading:

Executive Networks: The future of working and learning report

Melanie Naranjo HR for HR discussion post

Harvard Business Review: Beating Burnout

Benefits of Networking

eLearning helps professionals gain new skills

Culture Amp: HR Employee Wellbeing Starts with HR Self-Care


Written by Resources Intern Alice Croucher

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