Food for thought: 5 TED talks for HR right now

Watching a good TED talk can leave you feeling inspired and uplifted. And in the current unpredictable work environment, with talk of recession and job losses, uplifting is what everyone needs!

hr software ted talks

We’ve picked five TED talks that got us thinking about our people and the workplace. Share them with your colleagues for some interesting insights and discussions.

1. On working under pressure: My secret to staying focused under pressure | Russell Wilson

Whether you switch on the TV, read the newspaper or scroll through your social media, it’s hard to escape the doom and gloom blasted through these channels every day. And with HR teams at their busiest time: having had to adapt quickly to sudden changes caused by the pandemic and act as a guide for employees in all this confusion, it can just be a bit overwhelming. Yet, you still have to pull yourself together and perform well at work, right?

This talk looks at athletes for inspiration as American footballer Russell Wilson talks about how he trained and conditioned both his body and mind with the power of ‘neutral thinking’. He explains how it helped him thrive under the pressures of both the field and his private life and that by developing this mindset, it can help you stay focused on the task at hand.

2. On developing resilience: 3 secrets of resilient people | Lucy Hone

The global pandemic is a very challenging time for everyone: some have lost loved ones, been made redundant, or are currently separated from families. It might be difficult for you and your staff to imagine how to recover from it all.

In this brilliant talk, resilience researcher Lucy Hone states that adversity does not discriminate and how hardships are a part of life that we can’t deny. She then shares how her own experience of loss has taught her three simple strategies for developing the capacity to overcome her struggles, face whatever may come her way and keep moving forward.

3. On avoiding workplace conflicts: 5 steps to remove yourself from drama at work | Anastasia Penright

Our survey in May found that one of the things people don’t miss from working in the office is politics. People don’t like conflicts, but in the world of work, it can feel inescapable (even emails can be passive-aggressive!). You won’t like everyone, and everyone won’t like you – and that’s normal. But at the same time, we need to know how to interact with others in a respectful and professional way – even if we don’t like them. Filled with witty jokes and relatable anecdotes, community leader Anastasia Penright outlines five steps you can follow to better coexist with your colleagues and avoid the drama.

4. On managing stress: The cost of workplace stress — and how to reduce it | Rob Cooke

Stress is a major contributor to mental health issues, and while wellness advocate Rob Cooke breaks down the cost of workplace stress for the US economy, it rings true for the UK as well. Estimates show that mental health problems cost the UK economy £34.9bn in 2016 (according to the Centre for Mental Health). With the added stress caused by COVID-19, it wouldn’t be surprising if this has increased a lot since. Rob shares some strategies to manage workplace stress, and calls on governments, organisations and us as individuals to help put mental, physical and emotional well-being back at the forefront of our agendas.

5. On being kind: How the magic of kindness helped me survive the Holocaust | Werner Reich

“If you ever know somebody who needs help, if you know somebody who is scared, be kind to them. If you do it at the right time, it will enter their heart, and it will be with them wherever they go, forever.”

As people continue to cope with mental health concerns arising from COVID-19, practising kindness has been brought up as a focal point for discussions on company culture. In this sad yet inspiring talk, Holocaust survivor Werner Reich recounts his experience as a prisoner during WWII and shares how a small act of kindness can be so meaningful to another.

Which TED talk did you find most interesting or inspirational? Are there other talks we could add to this list? Do let us know so we can watch them, too.

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