Joey Price is an award-winning Human Resources executive, business coach, thought leader, and professor. He is the founder of Jumpstart:HR, LLC, an HR Consulting Practice specifically for small businesses and startups, and host of Business, Life, and Coffee, a weekly personal and professional development podcast.Follow Follow
On today’s episode of the RecruitingDaily Podcast, William Tincup and Joey from Jumpstart:HR are going to explore rest ethic, what we can do and what we need to do.
Some Conversation Highlights:
Listening time: 27 minutes
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Music: 00:00 This is RecruitingDaily’s Recruiting Live Podcast, where we look at the strategies behind the world’s best talent acquisition teams. We talk recruiting, sourcing, and talent acquisition. Each week we take one overcomplicated topic and break it down so that your three year old can understand it. Make sense? Are you ready to take your game to the next level? You’re at the right spot. You’re now entering the mind of a hustler. Here’s your host, William Tincup.
William Tincup: 00:34 Ladies, gentlemen, this is William Tincup and you are listening to the RecruitingDaily Podcast. Today we have Joey on from Jumpstart and our topic today is rest ethic. We’ve all grown up with work ethic from our parents and teachers and all of the church members and all that stuff. But Joey and I are actually going to explore rest ethic and what we can do there and what we need to do there. So why don’t we get into introduction, Joey, would you do us a favor and introduce yourself and jumpstart?
Joey Price: 01:08 Yeah. Well, thanks for having me on board. And it’s always great to chat it up with celebrities like you, so-
William Tincup: 01:15 Oh, stop, stop. HR famous. That’s nice, yeah.
Joey Price: 01:21 Well I’m Joey, Joey Price. I’m the founder of Jumpstart. We’re a HR consulting firm. I started it 11 years ago. And I also host a weekly podcast called While We Were Working. And that’s where myself and my consulting practice manager, Summer, we tackle some of the HR topics that people may not have been paying attention to because we were so busy working.
And so I’m not hard to find on the web. It’s just Joey V Price HR, or you can Google Joey Price. I’m sure the right name will come up. And yeah, I’m excited to dive into this topic and kind of talk through the origin story of it all and what I think it could mean or should mean for workplaces all across the country, maybe even across the world.
William Tincup: 02:14 So you and I are ish are about the same age and grew up in the environment of work ethic being, maybe even workaholic, being a norm and maybe even a good thing. Or seen as a good thing or good character traits, “He’s a hard worker. He works hard. He’s always working,” that type of stuff. We didn’t hear a whole lot, at least growing up about resting or giving back self care or any of those types of topics. So how did you get to on one extreme, work ethic, and on the other extreme, how do you factor in or how should we think about rest ethic?
Joey Price: 03:03 Well, I think I got to this point of throwing out the term rest ethic because after a 10 year march in running a business full time, doing this and committed to it day in and day out, I realized that the biggest gains and the best inspiration and when I’m really hitting my stride, is when I’ve had rest.
And that’s not a new concept for me. I grew up, when everyone was saying work hard, work hard, I was the kid that was like, “Well, I want to work smart,” right? I don’t necessarily want to have to labor four hours for something I could have figured out and crack the code in one. And so at some point, though, you have to unplug, you have to rest. Whether you’re working hard, whether you’re working smart, you’ve got to leave room for your mind and body to recharge.
And it’s not an unfamiliar concept for me. In my past in undergrad, I was a kinesiology major. Which is a study of exercise science. And so the things you learn about what it takes to be a successful athlete, they apply to the corporate world as well. But we don’t always kind of look at it that way. So in the same way that the best workout plans are where you work out four days a week and you rest three, that also works for the best and impactful executives and folks in the corporate space where you keep your boundaries, you take some rest, you unplug when you need to, you fill your cup when you need to fill your cup.
William Tincup: 04:57 It’s interesting. I saw a post on LinkedIn yesterday and I thought about you because it was a guy, picture of his family. And he said for the first time ever, I went on a vacation and didn’t check email, didn’t check text, didn’t look at social media, didn’t do anything. Totally disconnected. And a part of me was like, “Well, that’s cool.” And a part of me was like, “Well, that’s sad.”
You know what I mean? Like part of me was like, well, it’s cool that we’re at this place. And that we’ve got to a place where we can also acknowledge, hey, you know what? I had problem I was working in a way that I thought was efficient or I thought was good and there’s a better way to work. But it was also kind of sad, as I thought about it, I’m like, dude, he’s in his 50s and he’s just now finding that spot. And I think as you grew up, you were thinking about working smart. Not everyone does that. Not everyone does that and not everyone does that today. So how do we teach people how to rest?
Joey Price: 06:12 I think we have to model it. I think we have to model it. I think for the guy that you saw on LinkedIn, who said I took time and unplugged with my family and my job. I came back and my job wasn’t on the line and my company didn’t burn down and all these things that we fear happens on the other side of rest. I think we have to model it. There need to be more pictures of folks on vacation with their family or at home doing DIY projects. Because if we don’t model it, you can teach it but you know, there’s things you learn in school, but then when you get to the real world, it’s like, yeah, that’s not how it’s done. So the more we can model it, the more that we can show that it’s okay to take time off, show that it’s okay to delete your mail app from your phone when you’re on vacation. Then I think we’ll see a shift.
William Tincup: 07:17 It’s interesting because we’re talking about inclusion and giving space and belonging in a really interesting way these days. And this is yet another kind of way to think about this, of thinking about, okay, the way we used to think about work is that the building would burn down if we weren’t there. And I remember back in the 80s, I worked for a guy and I worked for Walmart at the time. And I remember walking the store with him and he said, “Yeah, I want to work about 30, 35 hours.” And I’m thinking to myself, I’m probably working 100 hours a week at this time. And I’m thinking to myself, that is so far from my reality I have to do, we have nothing in common. He’s like “William, the store, the business should work better without you than with you.” And that was a long time ago. And it’s like, I still remember those words today. It’s like, you don’t need to be there. And if you’re there, that’s actually a problem.
Joey Price: 08:24 Yeah. I think there’s a lot that we tie our identity to that has to do with work. And I’ve said before, and I had to learn this the hard way as an entrepreneur, but I always say, now for folks that are looking to start a business, if you want to be the guy, or if you want to be the girl, that’ll get you to six figures. But if you want to scale beyond that, you have to not want to be the guy or not want to be the girl. You need to have systems in a team and people that will help you get to where you want to go beyond that number. And so we tie so much of our identity to showing up, being present, putting our hands to things. When really, sometimes our best efforts are leading through people, empowering our team around us, coaching folks, and still showing that you’re a valuable member of the team, but not in a way that you can tell you’re trying too hard or you can tell that, oh, this person, their job is their life.
William Tincup: 09:48 Right. Right. And I love that you’ve tied back identity to this because I think you’re right. I think so many people think work is life. And it’s like, well, actually, no, life, comma, yeah. Work is important. But it is, there’s so much that’s wrapped up in identity. And again, we’ve learned these things. We can unlearn them. So it’s not genetic it’s not like we pop out… that we learn these through, as you said, modeling from other people that we either aspire to be like, or whatever. But you mentioned a word present. And I was thinking to myself, as I was thinking about when you said it, I’m like, if we’re working that much, are we really present?
Joey Price: 10:41 I don’t think we’re present where it counts.
William Tincup: 10:44 Yeah.
Joey Price: 10:45 I don’t think we’re present where it counts. I don’t want to throw that guy from LinkedIn under the bus, but…
William Tincup: 10:52 No, no, no.
Joey Price: 10:52 Of course. Think about the 50 year old executive who has that aha moment when their kids 14, 15, 16 years old. And they’re like, this is the first vacation that daddy wasn’t on a laptop. Well, you missed out on 14 other years to really be present in somebody’s life. That really, really matters.
And so I think that when we are working these 60, 70, 80 hour weeks, we are not present in our home life, whatever that looks like for people. But also I do wonder if we’re really truly present for the folks around us at work, or if we’re just even going through the motions or more obsessing about goals and outcomes than we are on team development.
William Tincup: 11:49 Yeah. I’ve got a friend that always kind of beats down the KPI mentality. He’s like every everything’s KPI and that’s all we care about. It’s the outcome, the outcome, the outcome. And that’s what’s gotten us into this place, is we care so much about the efficiency of the outcome, more of the outcome, whatever it is, that we’ve forgotten that the these are human beings. And human beings have lives and they have hobbies and kids and dogs all this other stuff.
What’s the role, because the challenge that most people will have is what’s the role? But like career management used to be. And maybe it still is too to some degree today. Is it the employee’s role? Is it the company’s role? Who actually helps with monitoring or forcing vacations or whatever? Who does this? Because I’m worried about, like a lot of people I’m worried about post pandemic, if there is such a thing, that we go back to business as usual. And I’m worried because business as usual, it’s so far ago that we forget that it wasn’t that great. If we pine for 2019, there’s a problem because it wasn’t that great then. But two questions, one question is how do we actually structurally get discourse and maybe even process and programs in place for rest ethic? And the other question is do you fear after the pandemic’s over that some of these things erode?
Joey Price: 13:51 Well, I do think, to answer that first one, some of these things will erode because we as humans have a tendency, the further we are away from something, the less we value the lessons learned from it. I mean as a side note, I’m running through this, this podcast on American elections. And what it’s telling me or what I’m gleaning from it, is everything we’re seeing now and over the past 12 years with the various folks that have been in office, America has seen this before. We’ve seen fraud, rumors of fraud, disrespect, racism, all these different themes that we just didn’t learn the lessons from them and so they repeat themselves.
And so I think that can play out in our workplaces too, right? We might forget why did we go to a work from home economy and why did we tell people, “Hey if you need that 12:00 to 2:00 block to run an errand or pick up your kids from school, that’s cool. Because we trust that you’ll get the work done.” Like we will forget that.
But what systems do we need to have in place to have some sort of rest ethic? I think it starts with the values of an organization. And if you really do value humans and the human experience at your work, then you can’t just have everything revolve around productivity driven KPIs. I think you have to create systems where work can be distributed and shared. I think you need to evaluate time off utilization and time off policies. I think even coaching managers on how to assess and ask questions, to get a sense of if people are burnt out or not. And how to effectively lead people through that.
So it is everybody’s responsibility. As the employee, you got to know if you’re running hot, you need to raise your hand and say, “Hey, I need a couple of days,” or, “I need to schedule a vacation in the near future so that I don’t go towards burnout.” But then organizationally though, and this is part of what I love doing with, Jumpstart and our clients is you got to create the systems that produce the outcomes of emotionally, mentally, and physically well people at work.
William Tincup: 16:56 It’s interesting, when I owned an agency I used to tell people if I drive by at night and the lights are on every once in a while, that’s okay. If the lights are on more than that, there’s a problem. I would look at it like that. That means people aren’t living their lives, people aren’t sharing time with their kids and exploring their hobbies and doing all the other stuff that’s outside of work. But I’d look at it kind of like if it happens occasionally, that’s work, that’s just kind of the way that sometimes it plays out. But if it’s you drive by and Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, it’s like, okay, that’s an indicator. Structurally, you’ve got a problem.
You mentioned values. And what I find fascinating about that and I know you were going to get there and you probably already did, is leadership. Because you started with modeling and the people that need to model this is in my mind, if your CEO or your founders or your board, et cetera. If they model the values and model rest and model things that are the opposite of burnout. Whatever that is, they model their vacations. I think there’s positive ways to show from the C-suite, “Hey, listen. Yeah our CFO yeah, him and his wife are going to Aspen.” Cool. That’s not just for them. That means it’s okay for you to go where you want to go. I think you’re modeling again. I think when you said modeling my head, I went to leadership.
Joey Price: 18:59 Yeah. You’re you’re right. And one of the things that we do internally, we’re on Slack, I feel like everybody’s on Slack, but we’re on Slack. And we have channel called the family fridge. And anytime someone says they’re going on vacation, or maybe they’re going to pick up a new dog that they’re just adopted or whatever the case may be. We’re all like, “Okay, well, put it on the family fridge or it didn’t happen.” And that’s just kind of our way of showing everybody we value time off. We value you having experiences. We value you sharing those experiences with us. And hopefully that’s positive peer pressure for someone else to say, “You know what? I should take that time off. Because I want something cool on the fridge too.”
So yeah, you’ve got to, you’ve got to model it. My team part of my goals with my monthly ops team, I was like, “Okay, don’t let another month go by without me scheduling vacation.” And so they held me accountable to it and I got it done. But you have to have modeling at the top for it to permeate through your organization.
William Tincup: 20:21 Do you think time off should be mandatory? Do you think?
Joey Price: 20:27 Yeah. I think so. I’m not ready to say that every organization is an unlimited PTO organization because that model doesn’t work for every way of work.
William Tincup: 20:42 I’m not sure it works for any, but I’m willing to engage if you think it does work. Because my experience with unlimited PTO is that there’s more peer pressure for you not to take time off than it is-
Joey Price: 20:56 Yeah. I think even that is branded wrong. I think it’s more, more discretionary than [inaudible 00:21:01]
William Tincup: 21:01 Right. Right.
Joey Price: 21:02 Because if someone wanted to take 364 days of PTO, I mean, it would be a problem. Just like Golden Corral’s an all you can eat buffet but if…
William Tincup: 21:15 At one point they close
Joey Price: 21:16 At one point they close.
William Tincup: 21:18 They turn the lights off at one point. “Don’t you have a home?” Yeah. At one point they ask you to leave.
Joey Price: 21:23 Yeah. So discretionary is how it really should be branded. But I do think it should be mandatory. It should be mandatory. We did shift to that unlimited discretionary PTO, only because it works for our model with regard to like work share and how much time you’re working with the clients and so on and so forth. But prior to that, we did use or lose.
William Tincup: 21:51 Right, Right.
Joey Price: 21:52 Where you had to take that time off because you earned it. As much as you earned the dollars in your bank account or in your 401k, you earn the ability to rest and do whatever you want to do at that time.
William Tincup: 22:12 When people listen to this, they’re going to say, they’re going to shake their heads, yes. And then they’re automatically, you know HR people, then they’re going to automatically go, “How do I justify this? How do I talk to the CFO about this? How do I talk to my peers about this? How do I implement something like this?” So you deal with clients all the time. And obviously it comes up in your business. How do you get them down the path? How do you get them started down the path, I guess?
Joey Price: 22:46 Yeah. It depends on who you have to talk to. There are a few levers that you can pull. I mean, there’s plenty of research out there that shows that rested people are more productive. Your employee experience is better. You can also look at what’s trending with leave and PTO and the ability to work from home. We just did it. We covered an article on our show a few weeks ago that said that remote jobs are getting seven times more applicants than in-person jobs. And so you have to also look at PTO through the lens of the talent market. And working from home, isn’t the same as taking a day off, but it sure beats having to put on clothes and coming to the office. So you have to look at PTO as either keeping people at your organization or forcing them to go apply at other organizations.
William Tincup: 24:00 Which is for me, it gets back to the authenticity of the leadership and values and how you model it. And if you’re modeling it, you’re modeling it on your careers page. You’re modeling it in your job descriptions and I mean these are important, social justice D&I, your environmental strategy. This is just as important as those things, is being able to model, hey, we care about this. And these aren’t just words on a page. Here’s actually how we care.
I love the example that you gave of like Slack channel. That’s just a fantastic, when people listen to that, you should go create one. That’s just a great idea of getting people to then encourage people to then go, “Hey, we care about your whole life. Not just the thing that you’re doing for us.” Joey, this has been wonderful. I appreciate your time. I know how busy you are. I just appreciate your time. And I appreciate talking about this topic as well.
Joey Price: 25:05 It’s been a pleasure and hopefully we inspired some folks to take time off and tell their teams to do that as well.
William Tincup: 25:14 Absolutely. Absolutely. Thanks again, Joey. And thanks for everyone listening to the RecruitingDaily Podcast. Until next time.
Music: 25:21 You’ve been listening to the Recruiting Live Podcast by RecruitingDaily, check out the latest industry podcast, webinars, articles, and news at-
William is the President & Editor-at-Large of RecruitingDaily. At the intersection of HR and technology, he’s a writer, speaker, advisor, consultant, investor, storyteller & teacher. He's been writing about HR and Recruiting related issues for longer than he cares to disclose. William serves on the Board of Advisors / Board of Directors for 20+ HR technology startups. William is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a BA in Art History. He also earned an MA in American Indian Studies from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.