• Barnett Waddingham
    Barnett Waddingham
  • 5 Minutes With… Clare Turner, Founder at huunuu

    In the latest instalment of our HR industry executive interview series, we spoke to huunuu Founder Clare Turner (pictured, above left) about workplace wellbeing, the challenges facing employees as we emerge from Covid and deal with ongoing economic pressures, mental health, planning for death and the importance of being authentic…

    Tell us about your company, products and services. 

    huunuu creates products and tools that support everyone’s wellbeing. We help educate people and organisations about death, dying and legacy, and encourage people to share their thoughts, ideas and wishes with family and friends. All our products are designed to help people have difficult conversations and drive actions which fundamentally support mental health, wellbeing and resilience. Our approach is unique in respect that our designs are bright and irreverent yet the process that supports each experience is designed and proven to deliver outcomes. Most of our work is underpinned by death, dying and legacy, something every single one of us will experience either in workplace and in our home lives. We know that talking about anything really is the first step to reducing burden, anything after that is hugely helpful. I am passionate about opening up the death industry and making talking about death easier and normalising these important discussions and actions. 

    What have been the biggest challenges the Human Resources industry has faced over the past 12 months? 

    Hybrid working: With all the organisations we support the loudest message we have heard is ‘How to make hybrid working work?’ Productivity is up and down because of working from home, there are an array of benefits, but a raft of disbenefits leading to isolation, burden and lack of productivity, the impact on our employees’ mental health and that of their co-workers has been significant.  

    And what have been the biggest opportunities? 

    Mental Health and Wellbeing Programmes: The HR community is now talking about other ways in which they can build more into wellbeing programmes. For us that means we are working with teams on pre-retirement planning, grief and loss – this covers jobs, offices, relationships as well as loved ones. We know that talking works! Building the capability of leaders to identify and support is key to this. We’ve been bringing teams together to enable those conversations and take positive actions which has been really great to see.   

    What is the biggest priority for the Human Resources industry in 2022/23? 

    Productivity, hybrid working and leadership capability: Talking with different HR professionals, concerns about productivity are still there, but they are different. Now it seems it’s screen fatigue, energy and competing responsibilities in the home. There is an article on relationships: if one partner is working from home, they are feeling the pressures. In some cases it’s expected that they should continue to maintain the home whilst working! Engaging our teams in hybrid working is tough, enforcing working standards is tough and maintaining productivity is tough. Getting the productivity right for everyone in a hybrid working world requires us to build the capability of our leaders, so they can identify and support the wellbeing of their teams wherever they are working from. 

    What are the main trends you are expecting to see in the market in 2022/23? 

    Talent retention: Tied to the hybrid working which has many different guises, all the positives this brings, the negatives too. The conversations I’m having with HR professionals and individuals suggest that talent retention is still going to be a problem while organisations work out what’s right for them in their working model as do individuals find an organisation that fits them in terms of ways of working, culture and benefits.  

    What technology is going to have the biggest impact on the market this year? 

    Not sure! I was going to say AI but its not based on anything other than the fact it is improving significantly! 

    In 2025 we’ll all be talking about…?  

    Why did we ever work a 5 day week, 4 days a week is so much better for everyone and that gives us an extra day to do some really serious life admin. Write that will, sort the LPA, share your funeral ideas.

    Which person in, or associated with, the Human Resources industry would you most like to meet? 

    No contest… Brene Brown. “Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we’re supposed to be and embracing who we are.” 

    What’s the most surprising thing you’ve learnt about the Human Resources sector?  

    Like a lot of other people, many if the HR Resources sector don’t make preparations for death either! At a talk in Manchester in February 2022 out of the 30 people in the room around 20 had a mortgage and only a handful had a will. Death planning 101! If you have a mortgage and not yet sorted a will hopefully this will act as a nudge for you to sort it out!  

    You go to the bar at the HR Summit – what’s your tipple of choice? 

    Glass of fizz, but I will order a non-alcoholic beer.

    What’s the most exciting thing about your job? 

    The creativity and ability to use my knowledge to develop great products and tools that drive really good outcomes combined with watching and enabling others to grow. 

    And what’s the most challenging? 

    Sadly, talking and dealing with death, dying and legacy doesn’t mean my own experiences don’t impact. My lovely mum died in November last year and my only brother doesn’t have a lot of time left. It’s challenging, but I regularly repeat to everyone  “do the things you love as often as you can with the people you like and love”.

    What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given? 

    Be authentic! 

    The Crown or Peaky Blinders? 

    The Olympics please if not then Peaky Blinders and The Crown.


    Stuart O'Brien

    All stories by: Stuart O'Brien

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