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How to help employees eliminate perfectionism

Naturally in the workplace, employees strive to be perfect. Especially in HR teams where team members may fear that all eyes are on them as the thread that loops through every area of a company.

This means failure is sometimes feared, and employees overload themselves with tasks that inevitably lead to burnout.

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Steering away from perfectionism has been long overdue, as it effectively rewrites the playbook on what we’re taught in school and business. Keeping the cogs turning within the workplace and striving for more, sometimes means knowing when to say enough is enough. 

Below are some tips that can be implemented to help navigate this alternative approach, and embrace making mistakes.


Imperfectly prioritise your to-do list

There’s no avoiding it. You will have to adjust and re-adjust your to-do list priorities throughout the week.

Combat the unspoken myth that says you have to complete everything on your to-do list. It’s your list. Don’t let perfectionist thinking take control – adjust the tasks as you see fit.

The best practice routine here is to consistently prioritise the most important projects, then for those further down the list, learn to accept that these are a little less perfect.


Focus on the product, not the packaging

Many companies spend vast amounts of time crafting the perfect PowerPoint presentation, with flawless visuals all superbly aligned down to the exact pixel. Look past that glossy shine, and you’ll find something lacking: clear and coherent content.

We communicate via direct messaging apps for quick questions and reminders, then project management software for the details of specific projects. This gives us more time to focus on our thoughts, ideas and strategies, and ensures important information will never be overlooked or forgotten.

When teams begin to focus on their products, they’ll find more time to relax, breathe and think. 


Maintain the pace

When leading an HR team for a business of any size, it is inevitable that there will be times you feel the strain. However, when your workload increases, it’s important to remember that it is okay that this may lead to some imperfections in your work.

No matter the industry, pushing forward smartly is vital. By focusing on the bigger picture and the overall essence of the project, teams will be able to move with purpose and deliver the best result.


Streamline your comms processes

We rely on an asynchronous communications model which has become a fundamental part of our company culture.

In its simplest form, asynchronous comms is a move away from a communications model requiring an immediate response, instead using project management tools to align on overarching deadlines and deliverables.

Asynchronous comms gives teams a chance to work to their own schedules, pause and return to tasks without stressing over the small details.


Trust your past experiences

When working in an HR team, it is important to remember both for yourself and your teams that we all slip up from time to time. This is a natural part of a fast-paced routine. Often mistakes can be eliminated by implementing the following practices:

  • Trust your experience of a similar situation
  • Seek advice from a respected colleague
  • Follow your gut instincts

These factors help you practise solid decision-making, preventing teams from massively overthinking a project. 


Aleksandra Sulimko is the chief HR officer at TheSoul Publishing