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Addressing Work Burnout in Human Resources: Insights from Julie Turney

Julie Turney

Julie Turney

29 minutes

Jul 14, 2024

Addressing Work Burnout in Human Resources: Insights from Julie Turney
Interview Highlights

In February 2023, something big happened involving a company called Fischer Connectors and an HR professional. They settled on a deal worth $460,000, which was agreed upon by a government organization called the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. This situation showed how important it is to have good support from HR in companies.

This case highlights the problems that can happen if companies don't have enough support for their HR teams. It can lead to serious legal and money problems. Also, without enough support, HR workers can feel really stressed out. A study found that 98% of HR professionals feel burnt out because of this.

When HR teams are burnt out, it can cost companies a lot of money. They might need to spend more on hiring new people or dealing with legal issues. Companies need to have a good system in place to support their HR teams.

Today, we have a special guest named Julie Turney. She's the Founder & CEO of HR at Heart Consulting. She's here to share her expertise on this topic.


The Significance of Proper Checks and Balances in HR Processes:

Julie Turney emphasizes the imperative for organizations to ensure equity, diversity, and inclusion in their workplace practices. She stresses the need for tangible actions to uphold values of inclusivity, accountability, and fairness throughout all levels of the organization.


Proactive Strategies to Address HR Burnout:

With a staggering 98% of HR professionals globally experiencing burnout, Turney advocates for a proactive approach to mitigate burnout risks. She suggests auditing workloads, ensuring equitable distribution of tasks, providing additional resources or support, and offering access to therapy and coaching as essential strategies.


Establishing Ethical Frameworks in HR Departments:

Turney highlights the significance of HR professionals adhering to a set of values and principles while advocating for organizations to actively live out their stated values. She emphasizes building strong relationships with HR teams, fostering open communication, and holding leaders accountable for ethical practices.


Investing in HR Well-being to Mitigate Costs:

Turney underscores the necessity of investing in HR well-being, particularly through providing access to therapy and coaching. Drawing from her personal experience of burnout, she stresses the importance of prioritizing mental health support for HR professionals to prevent long-term costs associated with burnout.

Advantages of Chief People Officers Reporting to the Board:

Discussing the benefits of Chief People Officers reporting directly to the board, Turney highlights the potential for improved alignment between organizational goals and HR strategies. She emphasizes the role of this reporting structure in fostering transparency, credibility, and ethical decision-making within organizations.



In a conversation filled with insights and personal anecdotes, Julie Turney sheds light on the multifaceted challenges faced by HR professionals and offers practical solutions to navigate them. Her expertise underscores the critical role of HR support in shaping organizational culture, fostering employee well-being, and mitigating risks associated with legal and ethical compliance.

Official Transcript

In February 2023, a significant $460,000 settlement, collected by an HR professional, with manufacturer Fischer Connectors, as agreed upon by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, sheds light on the ramifications of not having dedicated HR support for the modern People Operations function. 

This specific instance exemplifies the legal and financial risks organizations face without appropriate HR support for their People Ops team. The absence of dedicated HR support contributes to pervasive burnout among HR professionals, as highlighted by a Global HR Burnout Study, where 98% of HR professionals globally report experiencing burnout. Financially, organizations incur higher recruitment costs and legal expenses due to burnout repercussions.

Ethically, the dilemma is underscored by discriminatory practices, emphasizing the urgent need for a more supportive organizational framework. Moreover, the lack of checks and balances becomes evident when the Chief People Officer or Head of People faces personal challenges with no designated reporting avenue, potentially compromising People Operation processes and the organization as a whole.

Today I have a special guest, Founder & CEO of HR at Heart Consulting, Julie Turney. 

Felicia Shakiba: Julie, thank you so much for joining me today.

Julie Turney: That's a pleasure to be here Felicia, thank you for having me. 

Felicia Shakiba: The Fisher Connectors case highlights the potential legal and financial risks of not having appropriate HR support.

How can organizations ensure those proper checks and balances within their HR processes to prevent discriminatory practices and legal complications?

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