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How Taking Time for Mindfulness Helps Productivity: Q&A with Liz Raymond, Head of Global Talent at Nexthink

Mar 1, 2022| Reading time: 7min

BY ChartHop

Liz Raymond is the Head of Global Talent Acquisition at Nexthink, an IT service management company. She recently earned the recognition of being a 2022 People Pioneer, a peer-nominated award celebrating HR leaders who are pushing boundaries to positively impact their companies and employees.

We sat down with Liz to learn more about her work at Nexthink, and how she balances a high-intensity, high-growth, high-expectation business environment with practices of wellness, mental health, and genuine care for people that makes working for Nexthink exceptional.

ChartHop: What are your responsibilities at Nexthink?

Liz Raymond:  As the Head of Global Talent Acquisition, I lead a globally dispersed team of Recruiters, Sourcers, and Talent Acquisition Specialists that are focused on attracting and retaining top talent. The team implements new programs, process efficiencies, means of sourcing talent through constant optimization, and innovative thinking. Our goal is to scale recruitment that allows us to meet the demands of the business, hyper-growth!

CH: In the best of times, balancing a high-intensity, high-growth, high-expectation business environment with practices of wellness, mental health is impressive. Doing so during a global pandemic is downright heroic. What strategies and best practices did you lean on to make this happen?

LR: To me, it is all about listening, having respect, and showing up as your authentic self with compassion and empathy. I make sure that my team knows that I truly care for their mental, emotional, and physical well-being. It may sound simple, but I see my team as humans first and treat them that way. Take a few minutes in each meeting, call, and catch up to truly check in, ask how they are, and listen. When burnout is a challenge, I have blocked time on the team’s calendar for them to completely shut off from work and to do something for themselves. I work to really model these behaviors and set the example, teaching the team to have boundaries. They must put their oxygen mask on first, before they turn to put on their neighbors.

CH: Prioritizing wellness and mental health is increasingly becoming a must-have for  employees. Luckily for your team, you’ve been doing this for years. Can you tell us some of the reported benefits of making Mindfulness sessions accessible to the entire global workforce?

LR:  Now more than ever, we are forced to find a better way to balance work and life priorities that so often blur in this hybrid and remote working world. Mindfulness is a critical component to helping find that balance and reduce the daily stressors we experience. With even short five-minute Mindfulness practice, we can work to strengthen our awareness of our mind and body. Over time that awareness helps us to better modulate our stress response, shifting us from fight or flight (react) to a more centered and calm response to stress. Infusing Mindfulness practice into the work environment helps with productivity, burn out, focus, and energy challenges.

CH: You’re celebrated for being analytical and championing the idea that powerful leaders deserve powerful tools. How did you go about thinking through the maturation of Nexthink’s tech stack? What were some of the main considerations? Who did you involve in the process?

LR: When I started at Nexthink a little over a year ago, I joined an already high performing Talent team. What I saw missing was the data and the story that data tells. We demoed many tools from Sourcing, Candidate Experience, ATS, CRM platforms to Recruiting Event platforms. Ultimately, setting our eye on resources that would either improve our visibility into data and insights or improve upon our ability to be more efficient and productive in our daily tasks through automating processes wherever possible. These efforts are no easy feat and have required a partnership with leaders across our HR Operations, People Systems, IT, Business Systems, Finance, and within our own Talent Acquisition team to execute.

CH: What are you most excited to accomplish in 2022?

LR: I am so thrilled to share that we are launching a project to define our Employee Value Proposition which will ultimately inform our Employer Brand. Nexthink continues to grow, and it is important that we understand what makes our Nexthinkers value the work and their environment. We are expanding our investment in DEI programming with Diversity Recruiter Certifications for the global Talent Acquisition team, building a formal mentorship program, and investing in Inclusive Leadership training. These three projects to me really move the needle and show how much we care about each and every employee.

CH: What is your advice to fellow people leaders who have big growth goals in front of them for the year ahead?

LR: Be prepared to pivot. If I’ve learned anything valuable these past few years, I would say change is the only constant. What worked last year for attracting and retaining talent, might not work this year. We have to keep pushing ourselves to innovate. It’s important to be flexible, to ask for feedback, to be curious and question what is, to step outside of our comfort zones and to be bold!

More Lessons from the 2022 People Pioneers

Interested in even more lessons learned from HR leaders? Check out the full list of 2022 People Pioneers for inspiration on how to approach critical initiatives like embedding DEI into company culture, supporting employee well-being, and revamping performance management.

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