Meet the Speaker

Julie Turney

Founder, HR@Heart Consulting

You and your clients are on the front lines, helping to take care of employees every day. And during the pandemic, your job has become more volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous. 

In part, that’s because 98% of organizations have expanded their benefits packages to help employees cope with the pandemic. Almost a third (32%) have increased their investment in mental health benefits. You’re supporting your clients through the Great Resignation and now the Great Onboarding. Maybe you’re figuring out how to manage a safe return to the office or how to navigate hybrid work indefinitely.

Is it any wonder that you and your clients are stressed out?

Who takes care of you? Who gives you the space to have a voice of your own? Who asks how you’ve been doing? Who worries about how you’ve been struggling through these chaotic times?

To address the stress that we all feel, Julie Turney offered five ways to help your team and your clients improve motivation and engagement during an especially stressful time.

1. Take collective mental health days

Julie observed:

The mental health and wellbeing of HR and benefits professionals are just as important as that of everyone else’s. You’re employees too. A lot of times we forget that the mechanisms we put in place to support the workplace can also support us and give us the help we need.

Julie Turney Founder, HR@Heart Consulting

One way she suggested that we take a break is by taking time for ourselves. Mental health days, she said, can help you reflect on yourself, unwind, destress, and help yourself heal. The best way to address mental health, she suggested, is collectively. When everyone takes a day off work, you won’t get emails or Slack messages in the wee hours and feel compelled to respond. In these moments, Julie suggested that colleagues should find ways to support each other, such as by going out for dinner or drinks or taking a yoga class. Whatever you choose, she said, “It’s important to find different ways we can take care of ourselves.”

2. Focus on employee recognition

Benefits pros tend to be good at recognizing and supporting the people they serve, but their own work often goes unrecognized. That’s a miss, according to Julie, because employees who are recognized are more likely to repeat positive actions and stay in their job.

What have you done in the last couple of months to show that you really appreciate your [clients] for all the work they’ve done over the last two years? More importantly, What have you done for yourself to show that you are appreciated and feel that the hard work you did mattered and made a difference and kept people whole and together?

Julie Turney Founder, HR@Heart Consulting

Julie recommended different ways that organizations can recognize their employees:

  • Financial incentives (e.g., end-of-year bonuses, hiring commissions, etc.)
  • Peer recognition (e.g., shoutouts during weekly calls or on social media, award nominations, etc.)
  • Extra PTO
  • Lunch or coffee for a job well done
  • Professional development opportunities

Check out the full session recap to learn the rest of Julie’s de-stressing tips.

Read Now

3. Be transparent about career pathing

Many benefits professionals feel stuck, according to Julie. 

My clients often don’t feel like they’re being fulfilled in their careers. That happens when you don’t know what’s going to happen next or don’t know what to do next.

Julie Turney Founder, HR@Heart Consulting

She suggested that organizations need to be transparent about promotion and compensation opportunities. Setting measurable goals and timelines can improve employee retention. Julie asked, “If there isn’t room for upward movement, is there room for lateral movement? How can you help your team members find more meaning in their work and deepen their careers?”

Watch the full session.

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