Women leaders remembered the work and mentorship that led them to their current roles and discussed building a better path by making their agencies a friendlier and less stressful environment for tomorrow’s leaders.
To help employees manage their work-life balance, Luminary Labs moved, in principle, to a 40-hour work week, in which employees are not supposed to work or use email on evenings or weekends, said CEO Sara Holoubek at MM&M’s Hall of Femme event.
“It took us a few years to figure out,” she said. “[The hours are] going to peak if you have a [product] launch, of course, but you have to remember that your career is a marathon, not a sprint. We had to train clients that if you want the A-team, this is what has to happen.”
Leaders on the panel are also working to deal with employee burnout. Donna Murphy, CEO of Havas Health & You, is a proponent of working from home, sabbaticals and summer Fridays when employees need them.
She has noticed that entry-level employees are also particularly concerned about burnout and work-life balance. Younger staffers also “have a chance to push back on clients and to set better expectations,” said Murphy.
Nadine Leonard, president of Heartbeat, encourages employees to plan all of their vacation days for the year so everyone can take time off.
“There’s a difference in being reactively supportive and proactively supportive. We try to create an environment that is encouraging people to do more with their home life,” she said.
Amy Turnquist, EVP of sales at eHealthcare Solutions, acknowledged that people have different capacities for burnout. She noted that keeping communication open with employees about their preferred type of work and when they’re feeling burned out can help. Turnquist also urged women to be advocates for younger peers, citing the difference between offering to be a reference and handing a hiring manager their resume.
“We all have a call to act in a sponsor or an advocate role,” she said. “We need to put ourselves on the line for other women in the organization. We have to take that initiative to make things happen for other women.”
This piece was changed to clarify Luminary Labs’ work policy.