“I felt as though I was in this position where I was either going to be failing my client or failing my family.”
These are the words that Andreas, a Manager here at Protiviti, states as he reflects back on the last few months, which have been stressful and emotionally draining due to an unforeseen medical emergency with his immediate family. “I really never thought I’d be that person that would need to take time away from day to day job to help out a family member,” he continues. “As I became aware of my father’s condition and the need for specialized treatment, which was only available an hour and a half away, I realized that I was going to be in a tough position of trying to balance work and life.”
At Protiviti, we are continuously focused on the well-being of our people. This doesn’t stop with the employees themselves. We understand that well-being extends far beyond one human alone — it’s about family, about loved ones, and about taking care of yourself so that you are able to show up for others. So when Andreas was faced with a medical emergency in his family, his local team stepped up so that he could step back.
“I called both my local and engagement Managing Directors, Tony Abel and Bernie Donachie,” Andreas explains, “and I said, ‘I have this family emergency and I need to take time to support them…but what can we do to help to manage the relationship with the client while I directly support my family?’” Their response? “They said, ‘You need to do what you need to do with your family… we will work with the client to manage expectations and delivery’. I can’t explain how important that experience was for me, to hear from leadership that family is a priority. I felt supported immediately. And, given the stress of the situation, it was extremely comforting to hear that.”
Andreas didn’t just feel supported by his client team, but also by Human Resources and his local office. “Patty, our HR manager — she was crucial,” he notes. “She walked me through all my options and really ensured I understood each so that I could make the best decision for me.”
When asked about how he dealt with the stress during treatment, Andreas reflects, “There’s a couple things that I didn’t really anticipate during the treatment process. What I didn’t realize was just how difficult it was going to be to both manage a client and be there for my family. It was a stressful time – and I think I learned a number of life lessons that I will take with me. It can be an exhausting experience,” he shares, “due to the uncertainty, the emotional weight of the situation, and trying to sort through a complex medical system. But the support that I received is reflective of Protiviti’s culture…I think this is what makes Protiviti a great place to work.”
Throughout our discussion, Andreas stresses the importance of the role his leadership and other team members played in trying to mitigate stress on the client side. “I think what I really appreciated from our leadership was their support, helping me to set expectations with our client,” he says. He also celebrates the flexibility of the client during this time. “Our client was amazing to work with and very understanding. We have to operate at a high level at which you often have demanding personal circumstances and are also managing a client relationship. One priority will push on the other. It’s important to manage expectations correctly for both yourself and also for the business. Being realistic with yourself and your team on what you can commit to is important. It’s much worse to try and deal with it afterwards.”
While his team stepped in to support him, Andreas acknowledges that one of the most important aspects of this tough situation was the first step: asking for help. “I don’t know if I would have felt as comfortable asking for help earlier in my career. I think that came with maturity. People go through life events, and sometimes taking time away is healthy. It all comes down to well-being and managing stress, whatever the circumstances may be,” Andreas concludes. “What I would like others to understand is that, as family issues and emergencies come up, there’s options that Protiviti offers to help you manage during stressful times. Protiviti provides resources to help you with finding that healthy balance.”
To our amazing employees: If you are experiencing an emergency or stressful situation that is affecting you or your family, you are not alone. Protiviti is here to support you in the best way that we can. The first step: ask for help from your local Human Resources team.
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