In the zone: finding HR’s perfect balance (part one)

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A study conducted by Deakin University’s John Molineux and human performance researcher and consultant Adam Fraser delved into the factors that help HR enter “the zone” – their optimum state for working.

According to Fraser, the research found key areas that lead HR professionals into ‘flow’ or stress.

The researchers studied 821 HR professionals, who varied in age, role, seniority and years of experience.

There were five key areas which affected HR’s performance.
  1. Changing pressure
Increased work pressure, such as more deadlines and greater expectations, led to a greater amount of flow. HR managers tended to experience a higher level of flow at work as the use of skills, interest in and challenge of the work is significantly higher than for lower roles such as HR generalists.

However, pressure did not result in greater flow when the individual perceived that this pressure was a bad thing.

“Whether we view pressure as a challenge or a threat is a critical skill,” Fraser said. “HR professionals performed better when they felt ‘safe’ and able to stretch themselves without fear of persecution.”


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