Life @ ADP

Season 3 Episode 2: Wellness at ADP

Episode Summary

In our second episode, we talked with Amy Freshman, ADP's Senior Director of HR for Mergers and Acquisitions. Amy shared valuable insights on how ADP fosters a culture of wellness and volunteering among our associates, particularly during May, our wellness and caring month. Additionally, Amy provided us with some valuable tips on how we can prioritize our well-being at work.

Episode Transcription

Kate: [00:00:07] Ingrid. Here we are. It is the fine month of May, and we have a fantastic guest sitting with us today.

Ingrid: [00:00:16] That is correct, Kate. We are always super excited with the amazing guests that we have here or that we bring here to Life at ADP. And for this specific guest, we are super excited just because she's bringing us some really good information about the month of May and what we do specifically at ADP. But let's bring Amy and let's have her introduce herself.

Amy: [00:00:40] Hi, Ingrid. Hi, Kate. And hello to all of our listeners. I'm very excited to be here having this conversation with you today. So I'd be happy to start with a little bit about my background. I've actually been with ADP for almost 28 years, which sounds, sounds longer than I can imagine. I came to ADP straight out of college, and I started in the sales organization, so I'll give the short end of the story. I was advised by many around me within my career services organization with my university, and said everybody said, Hey, you should really check out ADP. They're a great company. They've got super training program. Go there for two years, and you can go anywhere you want. So you know the end of the story, which is I'm still here 28 or so years later. And my career story again started in sales. I did a number of different stints across the sales organization, from direct sales, sales, leadership operations, sales training, which I loved. That was such a great, great fun part of my time in sales. And in 2012, I joined the organization, and at the time, I was asked to lead our work-from-home program. And we already had an existing program, which I'm sure will come up in today's conversation. And then, in 2017, I was asked to help lead our mergers and acquisitions space for HR. So when we, as an ADP as an organization, look to acquire a company, I get involved with our strategy team and everything from due diligence all the way through to integration. That's really what my role is, and then get involved in all sorts of great, exciting, and really programs that tie to the employee experience, which again, you already talked about it Ingrid is our Month of wellness, one of many programs that get to get involved in.

Ingrid: [00:02:42] Wow, that's awesome. Amy I mean, 28 years; I think Amy is probably one of our guests with the longest time at ADP, which is great.

Kate: [00:02:51] Ingrid, you're absolutely right. I think Amy is our guest who has had the longest tenure at ADP. So, Amy, you shared why you came to us and when you came to us, which we're so thankful. Why do you stay 28 years? You've had to have seen evolution in the organization, but also yourself and what you've been seeking for out of an employer. And yet ADP has remained your choice. So why do you stay at ADP?

Amy: [00:03:23] Such a great question and one I so enjoy giving the answer to Kate, so thanks for asking. You know ADP, a while back, did a came for stay for, I'll call it a campaign, right, but we really went out to our associates to understand why did they come to us but why do they stay, and so on my statement it's I came for the experience. Right, which a little bit of what I shared. I stayed for the people, and I could fill in a lot of words, right? So I could say people, I could say culture. I could say the work, right. Which sort of rounds out all of it. So when I shared a little bit of my story, Kate and Ingrid on, you know, my journey in sales and then through to h.R. What I didn't share yet is in 2007, I was actually asked to go move to a remote work environment. And what's funny about that story is it was more of a space issue and nothing else except for the fact that the job I happened to be in at the time I was traveling three days a week, so I was in the office on Monday. I would travel Tuesday through Thursday, and then I would I would be in the office on Friday. And then slowly Fridays I was like, Hmm, I've been traveling all week. I haven't seen my kids

Amy: [00:04:38] I'm going to I'm going to stay home. So I stayed home on Fridays. And long story short, we had a space issue in our office, so I moved to remote work environment. So it's like my first taste, and it was very much a, Hey, can I go work from home? And the leader I was working for said, Sure, go take your laptop and go home. Right. That's kind of the evolution of how many of our associates actually wound up working in a remote work environment. And so with that experience in 2007, it brought me to take on and lead our flexible work program, which I mentioned early on in 2012. So I stay not just for the people and the culture. As I mentioned, part of that culture is ensuring that we as an organization continue to meet our associates where they are from a flexibility perspective. So that's really working for ADP has enabled me to do everything I want to do from a work perspective, but still allow me to be where I need to be. I happen to be a mom and a daughter and a wife and a community member, and so I bring a lot of, we all bring who we are as individuals to work every day. And I use air quotes when I say that, wherever work might be. So that's it's the relationships I've built. But again, back to flexibility and culture.

Ingrid: [00:05:57] It's incredible just to hear, you know, your experience with ADP, you know, going from like a flexible work enviro.nment into remote. And so all the all the things and all the possibilities that ADP allows to the associates, Right. And in your particular case, with your traveling, it kind of makes sense at the time. So it's awesome. It's good to hear that that, you know, we're open and we're flexible. Now that we're in the month of May. May it's it's pretty big month for us. Typically it's a month where, you know, we do a lot of community outreach, a lot of volunteering activities. But Amy, would you mind, you know, tell us a little bit about what is the month of caring and the month of wellness? You know, what is it about?

Amy: [00:06:45] Yeah, it's it's great. May is very busy within our organization, and very specifically, it's opportunities for our associates to give back. Take time to care for themselves and take time to care for others. Part of that caring is through our month of caring, which you mentioned. We also have our month of wellness, which I've alluded to. I'd be remiss if I didn't share that It happens to be our career growth and development rally month every year. So we have a lot going on. But the genesis of our month of wellness, this is actually our third year, and I am truly honored to have been asked to continue to co-lead this program. The program is really all about ensuring that our associates take the time and care for themselves. As I mentioned, and very specifically, we at ADP and I'm sure both of you know and likely many of our listeners, we have lots of benefits that we offer associates. So this is not necessarily about creating brand-new programs. Most are really available that help serve up information, resources and support for our associates for their total wellness, right. So we're certainly past the basics of health insurance and dental and things of that nature. What our month of wellness is really geared to do is to better serve up some of those resources for our associates.

Amy: [00:08:10] As you can imagine, there are tons of resources available. You can go to our internal sites and go and search. But what we try to do, as I mentioned, is think about what's top of mind for our associates. We engage with our associates and again, better serve up what some of those programs are. So we often have a guest speaker come join us. What's what's great this year is one of those guest speakers is actually addressing our people, leaders, specifically people, leaders. We play a different role because not only do we certainly care about you as the individual, as the leader, but you also are often that go to for your associates. So it's really critical that we recognize that our leaders really need, I'll say, special attention and perhaps special care because they're carrying a lot, not just for themselves, but but certainly for their teams. The month of caring quickly is and you alluded to it and I did as well, Ingrid is about giving back. So whether that's within your community and whether that's physical, volunteering like volunteer hours, getting out in the community or if if you're able, certainly we've got opportunities for you to make donations to causes that really mean something to you and speak to you.

Kate: [00:09:26] Amy, so I love the overview that you're presenting in regards to like how wellness goes greater than just like the benefits that we offer our associates. So I want to lean into that a little bit and ask two questions. The first being what does wellness mean to you as Amy? And then the second is what are some trends that you're seeing being asked of wellness at ADP? Because I'm sure you mentioned, you know, pandemic and working from home and all of that. I'm sure that in your evolution, you have seen what associates wanted prior and what associates mean now. And also, while all of this has been happening, there's been a huge mental health, for lack of a better word, movement, right? Mental health is something that everyone is talking about. So do you mind sharing a little bit about what wellness means to you? And then what are some trends as far as wellness goes that we're focusing on and that associates are asking for?

Amy: [00:10:37] Yeah. Thank you for the question. And you're you're spot on. So. So what does wellness mean to me? It has definitely evolved, Kate, over the last number of years. When I think about wellness, I think about total wellness. And so it it the obvious is physical, right? Go for a walk or go for a run, which is critical. It fuels me every day to get outside, to run, walk, exercise. I do something every day physically, but what I've known for a long time, and hopefully more people are recognizing, is there's a direct connection to mental health. So the more you can step, even if you have five minutes, three minutes between calls to just step outside, again, not everybody has that ability. And, you know, schedules are tough and tight, so you can't do it multiple times per day perhaps. But where and when possible, step away, stand up, happen to be standing as I'm talking to you. That's also made a big difference for me. But above and beyond. Again, I sort of alluded to it already. It leads to mental health, and that is engaging with others, having conversations, and really leaning into conversations

Amy: [00:11:45] And then there's all the other pieces, whether that's spiritual, financial wealth, sorry, financial wellness is becoming more and more of a topic given where the economy is. Is, and lots of conversations around that. So folks are really thinking about, wellness financial as one of the key components of wellness. It even plays in, candidly, as I mentioned, career growth and development, career wellness, right? Where am I and what is my next step? What is my next? Am I focused on my development? I mean, there's there's so many connection points when think about wellness. So that hopefully gives you a flavor of like what wellness means to me and some of those other items that I mentioned I perhaps didn't think about years ago. But now more than ever, we're realizing, recognizing and you talked about trends, which I'll hit on in a moment. The data continues to tell us that it's all interwoven. They don't stand alone. Physical health doesn't stand alone. It has sort of, you know, connection points to other types of wellness. Wellness.

Kate: [00:12:48] You had mentioned the Career Growth and Development rally. You know, moments prior, so thanks for connecting those dots for for me. I really appreciate that Amy.

Amy: [00:12:56] ,Yeah, happy to. And I'd love to hit a little bit on trends if I could. The second part of your question. So you know, from a trends perspective, it's really interesting that we are even having this conversation today. Quite candidly, the conversations around wellness and very specifically mental health, mental wellness, it wasn't something that anyone talked about at work, right? You just showed up at work, whether that was, you know, physically or virtually into an office or in your home office. And you were just a say, just a worker. I was Amy Freshman, part of Global HR, I had projects, right. And I'm doing, I'm meeting, executing. We're building, whatever the job is. And you sort of left everything at the door. Those days are kind of gone. Companies recognize that and we talked about it already. We bring our whole selves to work every day. And my whole self is not just Amy, freshman senior director of Global HR, right? Whatever the title is, I am a mom and a daughter and, you know, a spouse. And you know, I have other things happening in my life that guess what? They they help make up who I am as a person. And that person is also connected to the work that I do, if that makes sense. So more than ever. Are we continuing to see companies, ADP included to have real conversations and real check-ins with their with their colleagues, with your leader, with other people that you might work with even outside of your direct business unit. So having those conversations, getting to know one another, engaging and hearing more and more of what really makes people tick, what are perhaps people struggling with, how can we help and support one another? It's it's the lines have blurred of who I am as an individual or I'll say personally versus professionally. I am one one person and I bring that person with me every day.

Kate: [00:14:56] That's awesome!

Ingrid: [00:14:57] Thank you, Amy. That was that was such a great answer. And, you know, it really made me think about so many things because, from my perspective, I'm like, yeah, you know, wellness is definitely, you know, your, your mental health, but also your physical health. And you touch on some other great points and so I just wanted to ask you this question. What does wellness look like at ADP?

Amy: [00:15:22] Wellness at ADP, what we've been trying to do over the years and continue to really chip away at I don't know that it's anything that that will unfortunately ever be done is to help reduce stigma. So this stigma of wellness of if I call, I have to call an EAP, right? So at ADP, we have an employee assistance program, fantastic program where I can get support not just for me but for my family members. Um, if I have one particular issue, I can actually get eight free counseling sessions per issue, not per year per issue. So, you know, I think that's just one example of how we at ADP or our benefits program really shows up. But what we're trying to be able to continue the dialogue around is reducing that stigma, opening up conversation, and ensuring that folks should feel comfortable, our associates should feel comfortable having those conversations, but really reaching out for those resources. So it's not the if you build it, they will come. It's been built. It's how do we get more people to engage? And it could be that, you know, things are okay. I just kind of want someone to talk to, right. All the way through to, wow, I have a major issue and I really need help and support. So I'm giving one example, Ingrid, to your question of, you know, kind of what is what does wellness look like at ADP? We have fantastic programs EAP just being one of them.

Amy: [00:16:49] Um, part of what we're doing, as I mentioned earlier on in the conversation around Month of Wellness, is we have a guest speaker who's going to be phenomenal. We're so excited to, to host her. We are also offering financial wellness sessions. This is new this year. We haven't done that in the past. But as again, as I alluded to a bit earlier, you know, financial wellness, it is absolutely part of my total wellness look and feel. If I am stressed about student loans or being in in debt or anything to that level. On the reverse side, maybe I'm not in debt, but I want to figure out better ways where I can plan for my future retirement or plan to pay off my future kids college. Right. Fill in the blank. We want to ensure that we're leveraging the partnerships that we have through the companies and vendors that we work with to help our associates be better financially, whatever that means to them and however they might define it. So it does, as I mentioned earlier, it has a lot of different look, look and feel depending on who you are and kind of where you are in your life story

Amy: [00:17:55] But I'd like to share with you all that we we really have something for everyone. What's also I just want to mention this quickly, which I love. We have so much greatness across our employee population. We have one of the folks in our HR organization who I didn't know until she pinged me and said, Hey, I'm a certified yogi. I can do chair yoga, right? Because we've got lots of people, we've got service roles right where they're they're unfortunately often times either sitting at a desk or hopefully standing at a desk. Many of our offices have standing desks. So she's offering five chair yoga sessions throughout the month of May. I'm hoping they continue Kate and Ingrid, but my point is that we have an opportunity for someone who's within our organization. She has a regular day job. She happens to be part of the organization, but she has this passion, and she is this yogi, and she's bringing it to work. So she has an opportunity now to bring some of that greatness out to our associates globally, by the way. So she's offering five different sessions at all sorts of crazy hours of the day to help meet our associates where they are. So, again, just another example of how and what wellness looks like at ADP.

Kate: [00:19:06] I will definitely be taking you up on chair yoga, and I'm sure Ingrid will as well. So and many others. I just I love that. And you're right, it's such a big part of what we know because we do have office jobs, right? So how do we infuse those elements of health and wellness during the day? Because it's just little, little tweaks. And you were saying, Amy, that you're standing right now during our conversation and I'm not using this right now, but I have one of those walking pad treadmills under my desk. So I tend to walk and work an awful lot because it just helps me actually concentrate and focus while getting those steps in. And I'll also tell you, so our listeners probably know this because I've mentioned this previously, but I recently moved from the Roseland location to the Alpharetta location and having my walking pad there, I've met so many people because people walk by my office and see me walking and working and I'm like, Oh my gosh, I need to get one. This is amazing. So it's quite the icebreaker too.

Amy: [00:20:24] I love it and it gets you moving, which is again, focus on physical health, but it absolutely has a direct impact on on mental health, your ability to focus and and really do your be your best from a from a job perspective. I'll also mention many of our locations have either fitness centers or walking paths. So more and more, again, what does wellness look like at ADP? I see meetings going for a walk. So if Ingrid and I have a one-on-one and we're just kind of chatting and catching up and we're not doing a major screen share or anything like that, that's requiring us to be in front of a computer. Then we can say, Hey, Ingrid, let's go take this for a walk. I'm going to put you on my earbuds. You're going to do the same whether we're in the same location or not. And we can have a business conversation while we're moving, even if it's ten minutes of the of the 30-minute call. So, so many different ways that many of our leaders and associates are infusing wellness in their every day.

Kate: [00:21:17] And Amy, it's funny. Ingrid and I, what was it, two weeks ago? Ingrid? I pinged her and I was like, Hey, you care if we walk and talk? And she's like, I love it. That would be great. That's a good because it was a nice day on both of our ends. And, you know, it's just there's something about getting fresh air or just moving your body that just it just ignites something. It really, truly does. So, um, that's, that's great

Amy: [00:21:46] I think science backs that up Kate, when we think about innovation and brainstorm and, and that sort of thing. But, um, I just want to think about data. I want to make sure we also put a plug-in for ADPRI because our research institute has done such amazing work on global workplace studies. One just was released recently. So I do want to direct folks out to some of those materials there. There is and continues to be conversations and data behind wellness, connection, and culture.

Kate: [00:22:21] That's awesome. Thank you, Amy.

Ingrid: [00:22:23] Amy, thank you so much. It's been such a great conversation. And, you know, I'm writing down some tips here. You're already mentioning, you know, something that we kind do. But I wanted to ask you, do you have any other tips for, you know, our audience around wellness at the workplace?

Amy: [00:22:40] Yeah, there's there's many. But I'll hit on a couple of what I consider to be somewhat easier ones and ones that I've also instituted myself. So maybe they feel easy for me because I'm already doing them. The first one is thinking about your day-to-day schedule, where and when possible, if you can squeak in five minutes. So here's a way that I do that. I have a default set up in my in my outlook calendar for meetings that I schedule that a 30-minute meeting is actually a 25-minute meeting. So what then allows me to do is, hopefully, we can stick to the 25. So I guess that's job number one. At the end of the 25 minutes, I now have five full minutes likely before I have to jump on to my next call. I can step away. I can stand up. If I'm sitting, I can stretch, I can walk outside. Maybe it just gives me that time to recap what I just did or who I just spoke to, what we discussed, takeaways, and get ready for my next call. So I don't know about the two of you. And again, for people listening in, many of us are in totally different roles and work on different projects during the day. We're often very back-to-back. I happen to be. So that's been a way that actually I've been able to build in more time within my day. The other recommendation I would make, Ingrid, to your question is find a buddy.

Amy: [00:24:01] So I have many folks that I connect with on different topics. So I happen to be a runner. There are within our business resource groups, which I know you've had folks come on and talk about our BRGs, certainly in previous. Episodes. We have runners groups. I happen to be, use one of the platforms where many of my other fellow ADPers and non ADPeers that are on there and we cheer each other on. We root for each other, but we also hold each other accountable. So we think about goals that we have from a physical perspective that happens to be one for me. I know I've got accountability. So I made a commitment that at least once a day, every day for the year, I'm only three months in. I'm going to run at least a mile a day so I could run this morning. I ran six miles. Tomorrow I'll just run one. So it sort of meets in between. But it's just one example. I do it with friends, even though it's virtual. Um, that again, provides that accountability to make sure that I'm really focused on my wellness and also committed to whatever my goals happen to be. So those are just a couple of examples. I still love the walk and talk because I feel like it's, it's doable. Um, many other examples that are are out there as well.

Ingrid: [00:25:20] Thank you, Amy. That was. Yeah, that was such a great, you know, tips. And I really loved the tip number two, where you talked about, you know, bring a buddy, right? The accountability system. When I first started with ADP as part of one of the BRGs, I don't remember, but we had some meditation time. And so, you know, I remember I met one of my best friends at ADP at meditation. And from that point on, she kind of became that type of, you know, accountability buddy. She would be like, did you want to go for a walk? You want to go for lunch? And did you did you go to meditation? So I definitely see how having that, you know, community or that person to, you know, kind of help you out, it could be so beneficial, you know, because sometimes we could be in the day-to-day and we might forget or even the five minutes. So I definitely think that's such a great tip. And thank you for that, Amy. Appreciate that.

Amy: [00:26:19] Yeah. Ingrid, I'll just tag off of one thing you said, which is connection and there's more and more information and data behind the power of connection and that support system, you know, we are humans are social animals. So we, we really long for whether you're an introvert, extrovert, or someplace in between, we all really long for that power of human connection. And that's just, you know, this whole accountability factor that I just mentioned. And I know you mentioned and it seems to have worked for you, which is which is great. No surprise, right? Because that's part of that connection to something greater than just ourselves.

Ingrid: [00:26:56] For sure!

Kate: [00:26:57] So, Amy, what what would what would your advice be to someone who's considering a career at ADP? I'm sure there are some people right now that they have their application in or they're considering joining ADP. Maybe they've had an offer and they're doing their research, their last-minute due diligence before they say yes. What's your advice? You've been here 28 years and more. You know, what would you share?

Amy: [00:27:25] So my first reaction when you ask the question, Kate, is ADP and it's going to sound really cliche and it's not meant to sound this way. ADP is a very special place. And you're right, 28 years and counting. It's a long time. It's mean for some people. It's it's somewhat of a lifetime and way longer than anyone would have imagined staying at a company, myself included. I think that if you're through anywhere within the interview process, within ADP, as you described. Right, it could be early on in the process and the candidate experience or perhaps later, ADP is a special place. So that's number one. Number two is my advice and I say this to anyone that I talk to who's who's considering coming on board to ADP is you should be interviewing for us as much as we're interviewing for you and your role. And so what I mean by that, hopefully that makes sense and is intuitive, but ask lots of questions, ask to talk to people, ask about the culture and share more of who you are and and find those connection points and find those opportunities where you think hopefully that you'll say, Wow, ADP is a special place. I can feel it through the conversations, through the people that I'm meeting with and the job that I'm applying for seems to fit my loves, right? Seems to fit where I want to focus my energy.

Amy: [00:28:52] You know, I'm a testament to the fact that you can come to this company. And across my 28 years, I think I've lost count. Kate and Ingrid. I think I'm on roll number 10 or 11 somewhere there. Um, we're a large organization, which is great, which means land of opportunity, But it's also, you know, there's a lot to learn and there's many different parts of the organization. So I would third third item I would add is come in with an open mind. We have opportunities for you to continue to grow within the role that you're in, as well as across the enterprise of ADP, whether you're starting in our larger business unit division or maybe you want to look to HR or technology. I mean, we've got lots of different places for folks where we have opportunities for people to take what their current skill set is. Further growth. Certainly performance in current role will get you someplace else in the future that someplace else is still TBD.

Kate: [00:29:49] And one thing I want to mention too, Amy, because those are all great points, is that something else to consider? And I know that we've mentioned this a couple of times, but there's there's a reason behind it is you've been here 28 years and as you said, is probably longer than what maybe you had even expected when you accepted your first offer. But what's incredible is that you've been able to. Grow in your career and take in avenues that you probably hadn't even realized then. And ADP has been able to do that with you. And time and time again we hear from associates who have been with us for, I don't know, let's say like ten years even. The reason that they stay is because it's almost like they can reinvent their career or add on that next layer of a building block to what that next step is for them within the same organization. Because we are so big, I mean, with with over 60,000 associates around the world, I mean, my gosh, there's just so much opportunity and different ways to learn and discover new things because mean, even if you take technology, for instance, you know, the way in which technology is changing and at that pace, it's so exciting to think about like what's next for ADP as an organization? You know, as far as human capital management goes, I mean, it's really quite exciting and I'm looking forward to seeing how all of our careers evolve in the years to come with ADP.

Amy: [00:31:33] Could not agree more, and and that is correct. I don't know that I thought I would still be here 28 years later. But, you know, I've sort of come full circle here in the conversation, right? I came for the experience. I came for the training opportunity. I stay for the people. And again, culture, the work, right? I get involved with great things like Month of Wellness. Most of the work that I happen to focus on not happen to but do focus on,it surrounds the employee experience. It's always been. I mentioned it early in my career conversation. I was a trainer, so I would train all of our new salespeople that came on board. Other than the recruiter and the hiring manager, I was literally their first face at ADP, so I knew the impression that I made, the conversations that we had, and how I brought them up to speed and hopefully ramped up to to go out and sell was really critical in their overall longevity and retention within our organization. I loved it. Fresh eyes and, you know, lots of excitement. It's still one of my still one of my favorite jobs as I look back. But I could not have imagined, Kate, that I'd still be here. And I'm I'm very, very thankful every day.

Kate: [00:32:47] Thank you, Amy.

Ingrid: [00:32:48] Amy, thank you so much. You know, this this has been just such an incredible conversation. And, you know, personally, I wanted to say thank you for everything you do at ADP and, you know, all the wisdom that you continuously to continuously bring to the organization and, of course, for your time today and, you know, for having this awesome conversation with us and and of course, with with the audience.

Amy: [00:33:13] Thank you, Ingrid. And thank you, Kate. I'm a big fan of the Life at ADP podcast, so I am honored really to have been part of part of what you're providing out to our listeners and to our followers. Um, and I just so appreciate the opportunity to talk about anything wellness related. My, my final comments are be well and take a moment. Find opportunities, additional opportunities to continue to focus on your wellness.

Kate: [00:33:42] Thank you, Amy. I wish that you were here so I could give you a big hug.

Amy: [00:33:46] And that was next time in Georgia. Next time in Georgia.

Kate: [00:33:50] I look forward to that. I look forward to that. Well, thank you for joining us today. I look forward to seeing you and be well.