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The HR Scoop

Mental Health and the Employee Experience

Season 4
May 12, 2022

Andrea Herron 00:01
Have you ever wondered how a company is able to offer unlimited time off or be a pet friendly office? Curious how HR leaders manage the well being of remote or essential workforces? If so, you’ve come to the right place. Hi, I’m Andrea Herron, head of people for WebMD health services. And I’d like to welcome you to the HR scoop. On this podcast, I talked with other HR leaders to explore the world of unique employee benefits, and about the challenges of managing unique workforces. Because well being isn’t a one size fits all approach.

Welcome to another episode of the HR scoop. today. I’m especially excited to welcome writer, author TEDx speaker and marketing and PR specialist Ashley Johnson. She also just happens to be my big sister. Welcome, Ashley.

Ashley Johnson 00:52
It’s true. It’s true. I’m so happy to be here with you on the HR scoop.

Andrea Herron 00:57
Yeah, some of you may be wondering why I would invite my sister to the HR scoop. Very great question. So I wanted to bring you on the podcast, Ashley, to talk about mental health, specifically from the employee experience. I know you’ve had some personal experience with this, as you discussed in your TEDx talk. So I was hoping you might walk our audience through kind of your personal situation, so they can hear that experience from you directly. All right,

Ashley Johnson 01:26
and I’ll say if anyone has seen any of your presentations, towards the beginning, you say something to the effective I didn’t even know my own sister was struggling with mental health issues. And yeah, because I didn’t want anybody to know. So if you didn’t know, the people I worked with clearly thought I was a very highly functioning, go get them kind of employee, which I also was because you can be both at the same time. So the short version of about an 18 months long, I’m going to call this a battle, there’s a lot going on.

So I take medication to manage anxiety and depression. And during this time, my medication, I had to change it. Okay, so that’s a huge deal in and of itself. So in the course of doing that, the first one didn’t work, the second one didn’t work. And between the side effects, and not being settled, yet, my mood, my behavior, my drive, my performance at work, all of it began to sink to change drastically, to the point where my boss started to notice. So somewhere along there, and it’s been a minute, so somewhere along there, I kind of got one of those come to my office and shut the door moments with my manager, which I will say for all of you, managers that that is the scariest sprays ever. If you tell me to come in your office, sit down and shut the door, I’m already frozen. And I’m not going to process anything that you say.

Andrea Herron 02:57
Yeah, I learned that after we spoken just after a few experiences of seeing that tear in people’s eyes. And really just giving some context makes a huge difference. Because our fight or flight goes into overdrive, definitely getting fired, the HR person wants me to come in and shut the door. So great tip do not do that.

Ashley Johnson 03:16
There are so many other words in all the languages that you could add even something like, Hey, just for some privacy, would you like to shut the door? That way if I want to I can. Yeah. However, on that particular day, that was not awkward. It was a shut the door. And so what started there was kind of this long drawn out process of two things. And that would be kind of the the department director trying to coach me out of the job basically trying to make me quit trying to make things at the office so miserable, that I would leave on my own. And then at the same time, almost punishing me through a performance improvement plan. Right, my performance was bad because my psychiatric medication wasn’t working, like no amount was going to fix that.

Andrea Herron 04:09
Right. And this is the disconnect between all of the shame around mental health and access to resources that are offered, but maybe not known about or accessed. And then actual performance issues, which absolutely should be addressed. So it is a fine line to walk in a tricky one.

Ashley Johnson 04:24
It is. So at some point, and all of this has started getting really stressed out. And thankfully, I had an HR expert in my life that I could

Andrea Herron 04:34
call Did you now

Ashley Johnson 04:36
I did it. Oh my god, I wonder I think I’m gonna get fired. I don’t know what’s going on. You know, they’re doing all this paperwork, and I have to report every second of every move that I make and can they fire me? I don’t even know what’s happening. And so that’s when you and I really started having a conversation about mental health in the workplace. Because I had to ask you knew what my rights were, what they could do or not do to me and to my job, because I had no clue.

Andrea Herron 05:07
Yeah, as an HR professional, this was a really poignant moment for me to realize if I didn’t know someone as close as my own sister was going through something this dramatic and drastic, I certainly did not know what was going on with my own employees. And how little, you know, effort was being put into helping and moving the conversation on mental health forward, because it is so hidden. And yes, we’ve come a long way, in the past two years, the pandemic, this was certainly pre pandemic, but we’re not there yet. And you, you have no idea, you know, maybe you know, a little bit about what’s going on. But, you know, people are pretty private, because they don’t want their boss thinking there’s something wrong with them, or that they can’t do the job, or that they’re inadequate in some way. And I’m not saying they are a bit, you know, people don’t want to give off that impression that something is wrong,

Ashley Johnson 05:58
right. And one of the things that you told me toward the beginning, which got this bowl in my head rolling was, well, would some kind of accommodation help you. And I was like, I don’t even know what that means. Like, I’m a health care professional, I’ve got like, two degrees and a master’s in your communication, I’ve never heard of accommodations, that’s only for, you know, if I am in a wheelchair, and I need an elevator, or if I need an interpreter, like those, to me are accommodations, I never considered that mental health conditions could warrant any type of accommodation. And so that’s what I would say, to your peers in HR, tell, tell your managers tell your staff during your open enrollment periods, you know, really make it known.

It’s a it gets dicey, people don’t want to talk about reasonable accommodation. But you can do it in a way that doesn’t feel threatening. We talk about happy light. So that’s just a little light you have at your desk in the winter, kind of Ward’s off that seasonal depression. That’s a reasonable accommodation. And that’s not really anything scary, I don’t think

Andrea Herron 07:12
so he just didn’t put a skylight in. You know, I mean, there are accommodations, and there are reasonable accommodations, and even noise cancelling headphones, as people go back into the office, and they need quiet space. I mean, there are lots of ways that we can support people that get them to perform in a way that is good for the business. But I think reasonable accommodations have gotten confused with big dollars and big inconvenience along the way. And it doesn’t have to be like that. I mean, the goal of it is to find a solution that works for both parties, that helps the employee do the job they were hired to do in a way that is good for the business. And that just doesn’t really translate or Traditionally most places hasn’t to the average employee knowing even what that means or what they can do. So they can do the job they want to do because my understanding correct me if I’m wrong, yeah, you wanted to do your job.

Ashley Johnson 08:05
I did. But I mean, so I would come into work. And I would sit in my office because I do computer work, right communications, work, all this stuff. I couldn’t concentrate, I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t meet my deadlines. I really wanted to, I kept showing up at work every day. But that’s all I had the energy to do was to physically get to work. But I couldn’t really work. So we call that presenteeism, that’s maybe a discussion for another time. So I was there. But I wasn’t working to buy full potential. And I knew that. And yet, I didn’t know what to do about that.

Andrea Herron 08:41
And you didn’t feel like you could talk to your manager or you could, because I think that’s our net. You know, as HR people were like, we’ll talk to your manager, you know, some people feel comfortable with that some people don’t. And so then maybe they talk to HR, but there has to be some communication, because otherwise it does just seem like a performance issue. If all of a sudden you just stop performing and doing the work. And we don’t know anything about why there’s been no requests, there’s been no common conversation, then we would treat it like a performance issue because that’s all we have to go on.

Ashley Johnson 09:14
Right? So the the beginning of kind of my downward slope, and I can’t believe you’ve got me talking about this too, like the whole country. Good lord. Hello, let me tell you about how I failed in my job.

Andrea Herron 09:28
Space. It’s just Nobody else.

Ashley Johnson 09:30
Nobody knows. But I mean, that’s where stigma comes into it. You know, I don’t want to go to my manager and be like, well, first of all, I didn’t even know what I would say. I didn’t know what I needed. I just knew that I couldn’t function normally. And so if I had a better awareness of you know, I could have taken some time off. I could have been encouraged to use some vacation days or sick days, whatever the you know, your company calls them your paid time off. There are a lot of Things I know now that would have prevented kind of a bad spiral toward the end. But at the beginning, I stayed quiet because I just didn’t know what to do.

So the first time I got called in to the manager’s office and told to shut the door, it was because I had clearly ignored a pretty big PR requests. I mean, it was definitely in my court, I should have taken care of it. I didn’t, why? Because I just couldn’t, I couldn’t return that phone call, I couldn’t do the research to come up with the answers. And so I just didn’t. And at that point, that does look like a performance issue. And that’s where it is kind of hard. Again, this is my perspective, you got to look at your employee and say, Does this seem really out of character, like you’ve been here five years, nothing even close to this has happened before? What’s up?

Andrea Herron 10:57
That’s an excellent point. Because it goes back to the whole reason that we do one on ones that we understand where people baseline are, how they usually perform, looking at past history, and especially right now, when there’s so much turnover and the great resignation, and whatever you want to call it, it’s in everyone’s best interest to look at things that might be out of character, or off that baseline to say, is there something more going on here that I can talk to them about that is maybe performance based or built in the relationship? We have not to go down rumors and accusations or anything personal health and health information related, but you know, to check in from manager to employee to say, hey, something’s off here. And I’m noticing, can I help? You know, is there a benefit, you need any sign off, but really be more open and direct about something is different. And I’d like to talk to you about what it is so we can get back to where you were before.

Ashley Johnson 11:54
Right? And something that I learned from you. And the work that we’ve done together is observable behaviors. Right? So if my manager said, I have noticed that you’ve been locked in your office with the door shut for about two weeks. That’s kind of weird. You’ve never done that. Can I help you with something? Do you need something? You know, is somebody being too loud? Because we actually had that issue on our floor one time, there was a person who was a really loud talker. It happens, right? So you shut the door until they stop talking. But not for two straight weeks. Right? So you look at has the behavior changed? Is it out of character? And is it prolonged, because we all have a bad day? Sure,

Andrea Herron 12:37
it is a great point. This is more than a bad day or even a bad week. I mean, everybody can have an off week. But if it is a persistent, consistent change in behavior, like someone who is regularly on camera, if you’re remote and video, and all of a sudden is not on camera for a lengthy period, there may be something going on, maybe not. But we’re checking in. There’s no shame in the sweatpants game, as I like to say, but you know, if someone’s unprofessional, even for an internal meeting, or just really disheveled and that’s out of character, off their personal brand, you know, you may want to check in things like that, that may tell you that someone is just having a hard time and it’s probably in your best interest as their manager to see is there a barrier a blockage or resource they need something to get them or at least help them get back to the performance that they usually have?

Ashley Johnson 13:26
And I’m gonna throw a really unusual word out here reassurance. So in hindsight and retrospective, because things are way clearer when you’re five years removed from them. If at some point, my manager would have said, you know, what, why don’t you use your time off, and just regroup. We’ve got this, the team can cover, we can handle this for a little bit while you do whatever you need to do, because that was one of the main reasons. I didn’t take vacation time. And I kept showing up to work even though it wasn’t really working that hard. Because the team needed me, right. And I’m a team player. And so that actually was one of the most, I don’t even know that this is relevant. That was one of the most hurtful things that was said to me during this whole time was, you know what, you’re not a team player, and you’re making this whole team supper because you are failing. Please don’t say that kind of stuff to your employees. Or maybe I’m just being sensitive. I don’t know.

Andrea Herron 14:28
No, I think it’s a valid point. And another reason that, you know, we need to really focus on how to train managers what they can and can’t say or should or shouldn’t say, or when to just reach out to HR for coaching and guidance, because when you become a people manager, you don’t get a class and how to, generally speaking, manage people’s health mental health. I’m not saying from a personal health information perspective, but just the the natural culture, the dynamics, the communication, how to support them, right, you’re not their therapist, and nobody expects you to be you know, But there are certain ways you should approach things with a certain attitude not to slide into toxic positivity, where that’s the only positives allowed, but, you know, allowing people to be people and supporting them. So they again, can perform the job they were hired to do with creativity, collaboration, and teamwork, we call

Ashley Johnson 15:20
them invisible elephants. And so that is an employee who has, we’ll call it a preexisting mental health condition, something. There’s so many people in the workforce right now that have anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, some have serious eating disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder, and a lot of PTSD, trauma, right. So all of those people are already in your workplace. And they try really hard to hide all of that stuff from other people, for lots of reasons, one privacy, you know, people don’t need to know your whole business to stigma because, well, there might be repercussions or people might think less of you. And so we spend all of our time. Basically, it’s like cubicle camouflage, right? Like we’re blending into the office environment, so that no one thinks we’re any different than anybody else. Which is fine until you need help. And you won’t ask for it, because that would blow your cover.

Andrea Herron 16:22
Yeah, and also imagine if you could help someone, take that energy they use to hide and blend in and help them use it towards their job and getting the outcomes you hire them for. I mean, that’s a way better use of time and energy. But that won’t happen automatically. Because there is still stigma around mental health, although I do believe that is shifting ever so slowly. It’s still there. It was

Ashley Johnson 16:47
COVID kind of gave us a universal trauma. And I think it gave a lot of people time to reflect on many things. And that’s part of the great resignation, people have reevaluated what’s important in their lives and made some changes. And so that’s the one thing I’ll say that’s good about COVID Is it gave everybody this moment to pause. And, oh, you know, maybe we should work on the health of our work environment. Because you spend so much time there, you spent a lot more time with those people than you do even your own spouse or kids or your pets. Yeah, it

Andrea Herron 17:22
was a pasty reckoning that really was forced, but I think moved us forward a lot and realizing that people are just people. And they’re people when they come to their computer or their worksite their people when they leave. So now that you are just kind of a little bit removed from the situation, which obviously, maybe we should just close that loop. Were you able to resolve it, don’t you let’s not leave the folks hanging.

Ashley Johnson 17:50
Part to stay tuned next time, I will tell you, so eventually, I quit my job. Because it just it became too much. And then they actually brought me back in a part time capacity. And I worked with that company for another two or three years in a part time capacity. And then just this last summer, I kind of left that organization completely and started over in the same field, but a totally different kind of company. So that was a very long, odd, interesting chapter of my life, but it generated a lot of good things because I wouldn’t I wouldn’t have, I’m gonna say the word courage, which it feels really weird. But when you stand up in front of people, and you talk about the most vulnerable moments of your life and your failures, and, you know, here, I like to think that I’m smart and capable. But at this point in my life, I wasn’t. That’s really hard. And so that has been probably one of the biggest areas of personal growth that I’ve had in a long time. Which kind of sucks, but was also good.

Andrea Herron 19:06
Yeah, and to your credit you, you did take a difficult situation and use it to help other people through your TEDx talks, and, you know, everything you’ve done since so, you know, from your perspective, from this whole journey, everything you’ve learned, for our audience, you know, are there any big or small things that you would recommend or you would think would be super helpful for even just your average, you know, HR partner or any person in a position to provide that kind of support to help employees kind of struggling with their mental health?

Ashley Johnson 19:40
So one of the first things that I would say is companies and this is according to several different research studies, one of which I believe came through WebMD health services, that corporations businesses are looking to devote more of their budget dollars toward mental and emotional health in the workplace. Yeah, that’s perfect. Use some of those dollars to train your managers. So even the most basic, you know, here are some words you could use, here’s how you could lead with compassion, or let’s just all take a minute and remember what benefits we offer our employees. And so if an employee comes to you, we’ve got a little card or pull up the website with them, right, somehow let those managers really feel comfortable sharing resources.

Andrea Herron 20:33
Yeah, and also make them easily accessible. I mean, that’s the other thing when someone is in a crisis, or a manager is in the moment of needing to provide support, the last thing anyone wants to do is go 12, page up, pages down your intranet and try to find a phone number or a website link. You know, and I think that’s part of the reason why EAP services or you know, any of the benefits offered just aren’t as utilized, because they’re not easy. And if nothing else, we all expect things to be touch of a button and easy now, because, well, they really are, in a lot of places,

Ashley Johnson 21:04
there’s literally an easy button that you can buy doesn’t do anything, but you can push it all you want to.

Andrea Herron 21:12
So what about for those employees who are having a hard time, you know, from your experience, that things you’ve learned, you have any kind of pieces of wisdom you would like to give any individuals out there having a rough go.

Ashley Johnson 21:26
So what has been really an interesting outcome of this fresh, we’ll call the situation, missile part of my life. Again, it’s given me competence to do things like the TEDx talk, and we published our book and you know, really get out there and talk about mental health. And so people will feel comfortable coming to me and saying, Hey, I kind of have some of the same issues. And you talked about this and that, could you connect me with a resource? Or what do you know about reasonable accommodations? You know, you mentioned those, I’ve never heard of it. And so it’s like, I made space for it to be okay to talk about.

So what I would want for other employees is to know that you’re definitely not alone. One in five, this was pre pandemic Nami National Alliance on Mental Illness, they told us that one in five US adults has a mental illness in any given year, post pandemic, those numbers are even higher. And we don’t have you know, all the counts in from 2021. So we don’t know exactly how high but there’s somebody in your office, or your circle of friends, that also has some kind of condition. And so if you, like, we need a little secret, invisible elephant handshake or something, right? Like, Hey, I got you. I know what you’re going through. But define those spaces where you can talk about things share resources, in a hate, say safe spaces, like 15 times, but some kind of a setting where you can have those conversations. So kind of just knowing you’re not alone,

Andrea Herron 23:03
you want I find so interesting is this whole shift from the employer kind of taking over and becoming a point. For a lot of these conversations that used to be held in religious communities in your neighborhood, in your support groups, or your however you had your outlets of the people you talk to me talk social justice, we talk about mental health well being diet, exercise, fitness, I mean, we’ve even talked about food insecurity, childcare over the pandemic, it’s just a fascinating, kind of hard left from what the employer agreement was, you know, just a few decades ago, where you come to work, you do a job, I pay you and you go home, and then you do all of those things. Right. Now, there’s employee resource groups for all sorts of things. You know, there’s volunteer activities, there’s events, there’s culture building, there’s just an endless array. And it’s just really interesting. And I don’t think that’s going anywhere. And so the more an employer, and guess what everyone who has any influence over benefits, management, relationships, training, development resources, you can play a part here, even if you’re not the CEO, or the head of anything, you know, bringing ideas of how to just create connections is going to benefit your company, because it’s almost an expectation going forward that employers have a role in this. It’s not just a nice to have anymore.

Ashley Johnson 24:28
And I’m going to open the can of diversity and inclusion real quick to say that as HR managers and people who are in charge of selecting, like who participates in your benefit programs, who is like what’s the Behavioral Health Group in town that is on your insurance plan that people can go see, right? Those decisions are extremely important because you need to have providers that look like your people, because not everybody wants a middle aged white woman for therapy. Biggest in yet, that’s pretty much the bulk of the workforce in that field right now. So if you can find, oh my gosh, Spanish speaking therapists, or you know, behavioral health specialists, there’s a whole list of the titles in the behavioral health realm. So whatever you’re hiring for, look for people with some diversity of language of background. And I mean, it’s a whole other conversation, but your background and your beliefs and your faith and your ethnicity, they all really color how you experience mental health and mental ill health, and what works for you as far as addressing those issues and not addressing those issues. But one thing everybody can do is to try and at least include some of those diverse providers on your list so that your employees can find someone that looks kinda like them to go see, because that just makes such a huge difference.

Andrea Herron 26:02
Yeah, I agree. And I think that’s really excellent to keep in mind, as you know, you look at your providers. One thing I just want to kind of bring back around because I think sometimes what gets lost in this conversation is why, again, I think we started here, but why does it matter? Why should employers managers care about their employees mental health? Isn’t that a personal problem? Isn’t that a personal thing? Someone needs to deal with? It? I’m not saying that. But that’s what people think. Right? Are you? What are you doing? No, no, I just say like, I think that’s the thread that gets lost sometimes, because we’re like, Well, yeah, but then someone needs to take care of their own personal personal health. If I broke my arm, I take myself to the doctor. Yeah. But then if you have a job that requires you to use that arm, we’re going to try and find a workaround or some way for you to contribute while it heals. And when there’s a mental issue or a mental health concern, it’s not visible, and it makes it so much harder for us to kind of grasp that why something matters, and why we need to care is an employer. So do you have any thoughts about that, and why? Why it matters, and if it would have made a difference to you.

Ashley Johnson 27:14
So I’m going to take it back to Canada, that team player element, the company hired me to do this job, I was very qualified for the job, I was very good at the job, I wanted to give back to that organization and be amazing. So if you have that support, during kind of a rough patch, you’ve lost maybe a week of an employee, you know, hitting on all cylinders. And what you’ve gotten in return is 18 months of mediocre work, and a whole lot of stress of visits to HR, which doesn’t help your business. Right. So if you show people, one, that you care about them, you want them to be okay. They’re gonna be more loyal to that company, they’re gonna stick with that job. So if we’re talking about like recruitment and retention, you’re gonna keep the good people that you hired, if you lead with some empathy and some compassion, and you accept that, you know, maybe sometimes somebody needs to take a whole week or two weeks to get themselves together. If they had surgery, would you not let them do that? If a loved one died, would they not take bereavement time.

So this is kind of back to equity. And so we’re just trying to get mental health on the same plane as physical health and realize that if your employee is broken, it doesn’t matter if you can see that injury or not, they need some time to recoup. And they need to use the benefits that your organization provides. And that’s a national issue that they’re working on is physical and mental health equity, so that you can get the same benefits for physical as mental health. So that’s why it matters. If you hired good people, and you want to keep them. If you would help them through like a period of grieving or through a surgery recovery, then you should be helping them through a period of mental ill health as well.

Andrea Herron 29:20
I absolutely agree. And I have seen this time and time again, when managers and leadership lead with empathy and care and put the human first and not that you forget about the work but you make an exception, you figure it out, you get a short term solution to really help that person feel supported. They are so much more loyal, and they give back so much more than you ever lost in that very short window. So I completely agree with that. Not every manager is going to naturally do that which is why the training and continued tools and resources they matter and they will make a difference but I have seen that happen. It With such good outcomes every like so many times,

Ashley Johnson 30:02
yeah, and once somebody starts talking about how I had this issue, and my workplace really supported me, and I even had to, you know, go away for a couple of weeks and get myself back together. And when I got back, they were like, great, you’re back, let’s go, we’re happy, you’re here. And there was no follow up stigma, right? There were people going behind you while she leaving, again, what’s wrong with her, she could leave, she just gets to take time off anytime she wants to, you know, there wasn’t that because the manager set the tone,

Andrea Herron 30:35
when you’re talking about not only retention and loyalty of that one employee, but the team sees how that person was treated and feel safer that they would be treated the same way, which may lead to more referrals, which may lead to a better review out on one of the review sites that we all love and adore so much. And, you know, there’s just a lot of ripple effects of positivity that can come out of treating people, like the humans they are versus something that they didn’t produce for a week or two, because they were having a hard time, right? And when you do a comparison

Ashley Johnson 31:07
to physical health, people, the light bulb kind of comes on in their head, and they’re like, Oh, well, if you had surgery, and the doctor said, you need six, eight weeks of recovery, I wouldn’t question that. And then if you come back, and it says, You need to be on bite duty. for two more weeks after that, I’ve just been like, fine, we’re gonna put you at the desk, and you’re gonna do this. But again, it’s that stigma, there’s fear. Well, first of all, there’s fear for the people who live with those conditions. Because sometimes we can’t explain what we’re feeling and why I didn’t know my medication changing was what was messing me up so bad for probably six weeks, I just knew that I didn’t feel right. And I could not get it together. And that’s not a lack of effort. That’s not a lack of desire. That was a lack of chemicals in my brain, not allowing it to work. And no amount of performance improvement play was going to fix that. And so that’s, again, I go back to, if I had been encouraged to take some time to get it together. That sounds horrible. But I had been encouraged to take some of my paid time off.

Andrea Herron 32:16
If HR talk HR talk, I

Ashley Johnson 32:19
think that I could have avoided a lot of the kind of yucky or outcomes that came from it, because clearly it was not going to get better. It just got worse. So it’s kind of like you have this window at the beginning of an episode to help people do whatever it is that works for them. And if you miss that window, it just gets harder and harder and harder to get them back to that. I guess we’ll call it a performance level.

Andrea Herron 32:45
I think that’s a great reframe. It’s a great reframe. And I just want to still call to say, HR people listening, we deal with a lot. And we’re also the receivers of a lot of these very difficult conversations. And so don’t forget about your own mental well being in your own self care, which doesn’t have to mean you buy something or you get a bubble bath mean you can you do you but it can, it can mean a lot of things, and you have to find what makes you feel better. But we really need to make sure that we are also taking care of ourselves because we absorb a lot of this energy and a lot of these difficult conversations, and then we just move on to the next thing and you may not realize that you’re still holding that. So just please take some time to really feel your feelings. Yeah, feel the feelings, maybe in your car,

Ashley Johnson 33:33
maybe the shower, I mean, whatever. But you know, just take some time for yourself. Yep, you’ve got to process all of those things that are happening to you. And just like every other person does, right? That’s why I am not in like a mental health professional field. I couldn’t leave all of that at the office, I would just carry everyone’s immersive emotional burden with me. And then that would be detrimental to my own health. So it’s like okay, boundary. That’s not the kind of work that I can do.

Andrea Herron 34:02
Yeah, boundaries and other time and other long conversations. Okay. For the final question, as we ask all of our guests here on the HR scoop, would you please tell our audience I mean, I know you’ve shared a lot of personal things. But what’s something else that most people don’t know about you? Aside from your great sister,

Ashley Johnson 34:20
I was gonna say, there’s not really anything I could talk about that it’s gonna be a surprise to you, because you were there for a lot of it. I’ll tell you one of the cooler things I got to do. In college, I did a study abroad in Japan, with you know, a group of my fellow students, and it was the most interesting kind of life changing travel that I have ever done because it took everything I knew, and thought about how the world worked and flipped it on its head. And that talk about culture shock, you know, I was 20. So that was just, yeah, a lot of that still sticks with me. So That trip to Japan. Not a lot of people know, because wow, why are you gonna bring that up in everyday conversation?

Andrea Herron 35:06
Well, you didn’t take me so it’s still on my list and I am glad you got to go. Yes. So thank you again yelling at that point. Very good. Okay. All right. Well, thanks for joining us, and it’s been a great episode. We’ll see y’all next time. Thank you for listening to the HR scoop podcast. Please take a moment to rate and subscribe on Spotify, Apple, Google, or directly at WebMD health services.com/podcasts

The HR Scoop

Humanizing Well-Being, Part #2

Season 2
July 22, 2021
The HR Scoop

Humanizing Well-Being, Part 1

Season 2
July 14, 2021

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