From burnout to bright: Four ways to revitalise your HR team


Here are some suggestions for the HR department to help team members to revitalise their current career while they still have the chance to find inspiration and a fresh joy for what they do.

By Anja van Beek, Agile talent strategist, leadership and HR expert, and executive coach

Is the summer break already a distant memory? You’ve heard in the corridors that some people are secretly scrolling the job portals to see if the grass might be greener in a different business… which makes your job of retaining talent harder.

According to PwC’s ‘Workforce Hopes and Fears’ survey, one in every five employees worldwide say they are likely to switch jobs in the next 12 months, indicating that the so-called ‘great resignation’ is not going away.

Enough has been written about how, especially in a nation with such a high unemployment rate, the grass isn't necessarily greener on the other side and that you should instead water the garden you now have.

Here are some suggestions for the HR department to help team members to revitalise their current career while they still have the chance to find inspiration and a fresh joy for what they do.

1. The science of motivation
As HR professionals, we know that teams can significantly improve their performance by finding significance and meaning in their work. Do people in your business know what their intrinsic motivators are?

A powerful tool can be the Reiss motivational profile, based on a study by Professor Steven Reiss, who wanted to understand what makes people tick. By asking thousands of people from different cultures and background about their intrinsic motivations he identified 16 universal needs every person has – and the intensities of each of the basic needs, which is what makes us unique. When people better understand how to leverage their innate talents and interests, they are in a better position to help and support the larger team and business.

Another easy exercise to discover innate strengths, is to make a list of activities that one does during a normal week. Record which activities bring excitement, and the tasks where people are lost in time. Things that we do effortlessly should be an indication of natural strengths.

By using innate strengths, encourage people to use this to make an impact in their teams and the wider business. This will increase their reputation of being trustworthy and a valuable resource. It will also inspire some fresh enthusiasm for their problem-solving skills.

When people focus on purposefulness, they increase their own personal agility. So, purposefulness is a crucial trait to develop. Encourage people to make time to find meaning and significance in their day-to-day activities. And of course, lead by example!

2. Craft a mosaic-career path
Career planning traditionally done is no longer effective. A career mosaic is a notion that Agile HR teaches. Individuals take ownership of crafting the career they want. As a result, their jobs can be more flexible, with an emphasis on personal growth and adding value to both the organisation and the individual.

Instead of waiting for their line manager, encourage team members to initiate a conversation about their future. They should take charge of their own development and be transparent about their career goals.

3. The power of being a thinking partner/mentor
A lot of us can attest to the value of having a mentor. Adam Grant says that great mentors are learners as well as teachers. Mentoring is therefore not only a transfer of wisdom but a relationship where two people grow together.

The opportunity to discuss ideas with an expert and gain insight from their experiences in life and work is priceless. There is a lot of value in using the lessons shared to influence career choices through gaining insight and appreciation.

If you are aware of people in your business that are keen to become the mentor they wish they had, invite them to join the free online mentoring moments during 2023.

4. And what if you are one of those not feeling the spark?
Self-leadership is critical. How are you channelling YOUR energy? What perspective do you take on the world? How do you show up for your teams? How do you, as an HR leader in the business, react to changes in the workplace?

Change is a core driver of business agility and therefore it is increasingly necessary for us to be adaptable, flexible and continue to build resilience. We all know that HR is the driver for agility – but what do you do if you “are not feeling it”?

Another step in self-leadership is to assess whether you are biased. A bias is merely an automatic response we use to navigate the world to respond fast and without thinking.

What mental shortcuts do you use that influence how you see your current role, and may need to be adjusted?

For example, if you are in a brainstorming session and you tend to favour or detest a recommendation from one of the team members, ask yourself: “If this suggestion was offered by someone else, would I also like or dislike the concept as much as I do?”

Consider the role of self-care in all of this. Do you have sufficient habits in place to become resilient and perform at a high level? Self-care is no longer a nice-to-have, but an essential part of thriving in a disruptive world.

A good starting point can be your morning and evening routines. Be consistent in embracing mindfulness practices like box-breathing to start and end your day, or exercising -- decide what works for you.

When you devote time to developing regular rhythms and habits, you will soon see the benefits. These rhythms and routines can help you cope better with the problems you face in your job, and as a result, you will find joy in your professional journey.

As a reminder: it takes 90 days to form a new habit. So, consistency, not perfection, is key when establishing these morning or evening routines.

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