Our Learning Journeys: To Attract, Hire, Empower, Develop, and Retain Talent

September 9, 2022



Our Learning Journeys: To Attract, Hire, Empower, Develop, and Retain Talent

Our Learning Journeys: To Attract, Hire, Empower, Develop, and Retain Talent

Jen Fox, Director of People Experience and Culture at Justworks, discovered her passion for training and developing people early on. She shares learnings from her experiences at Nordstrom and Starbucks as well as working independently as a coach. Jen continues her journey at Justworks supporting new individualized career pathways, navigating new work arrangements, and empowering employees to help figure it out.


[03:04] Jen starts out as an entrepreneur.

[04:12] The business reaches an inflection point and they have to make a decision.

[04:40] Jen joins Nordstrom and gets moved in Learning & Development.

[07:35] At Starbucks for five years, Jen benefits from many different experiences.

[08:57] Leadership’s commitment to the employee makes a difference—including transparency and openness.

[10:20] Jen hones her HR skills at Getty Images.

[11:30] Early understanding and observations about company culture.

[13:01] An impactful learning moment when having to lay people off after an acquisition.

[14:22] Jen’s lasting takeaway is the human-centric core.

[10:35] Despite not wanting to go, Jen moved to New York City to pursue her career.

[15:20] After having three kids, Jen transitions organically to freelancing, consulting, and coaching.

[17:42] Jen deliberately doubles down on her strengths.

[18:20] Why Jen wanted to go in-house at Justworks.

[20:20] The important focus on supporting small business.

[22:05] Jen delights about employees craving development resources.

[23:36] Driving the Wellness Program, Jen plans out through 2025.

[25:10] Being proactive, not just reactionary.

[25:58] Becoming more data driven and integrating DEIB.

[27:38] How Justworks pivoted in March 2020 as they were providing important support for their client companies.

[28:49] The core value is camaraderie.

[29:15] The tension about how best to build interpersonal relationships with new work arrangements.

[31:36] Being intentional about learning how to optimize remote working.

[32:31] Empowering teams to figure it out, working their way along their own journeys.

[34:59] How Jen tactically acts and reacts to support employees’ well-being.

[36:32] The four pillars of Justworks’ Well-being Program.

[37:03] Creating meeting boundaries.

[37:24] Financial well-being is a key focus.

[38:18] Now Jen purposefully shows her commute on her calendar.

[39:13] The importance of managers in creating a positive and productive team environment.

[40:17] Partnerships for resources help develop managers.

[41:18] New interest in role playing and learn new skills.

[42:51] New efforts to understand individual talent and create personalized career paths.

[43:48] Jen needs a pause button and intentionally to block time for herself.

[45:54] IMMEDIATE ACTION TIP: Remember your why. In the hardest times, it’s a pause to remember why you are doing this work. It’s different for everybody. Get in touch with your why.


“It’s a privilege being at a company where our employees are at the center of it all.”

“If you take care of the people and yes, there's a lot of process and logistics and paperwork. But if at the end of the day, these are just people. How can we help and support them?”

“What I realized more so for myself was that doubling down on my strengths gave me more fuel, more energy. The more I did it, the more confident I became. And then the more people wanted to hire me.”

“We were able to pivot and get our stuff together essentially so quickly because we had to. Because we, our customers, all those little companies were now looking to us to help them keep the lights on.”