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50 Best Companies to Watch 2020

An Innovative HR Consulting Firm Delivering Custom Solutions and Real Results: Enspira

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“We are a boutique HR consulting firm providing employers with access to hundreds of years of collective, global and cross-industry experience.” Kurt Landon, CEO and Founder, Enspira

Today, employers and their Human Resources (HR) teams are facing new and unprecedented challenges. The

COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating the evolution of work, talent management and the HR function, creating new opportunities for organizations to re-engage their employees, retool their workforce practices, and redesign their offerings to continue to succeed and thrive. Now more than ever, employers are making critical workplace, talent management and technology decisions to determine what is best for the organization, clients, customers, partners, vendors, and most importantly, their employees.

Enspira, established two years ago, is an innovative, boutique HR consulting firm dedicated to helping employers address their unique talent and workplace challenges. It is one of The Silicon Review’s “50 Best Companies to Watch in 2020.” The firm provides custom HR solutions that deliver real results, enabling organizations and their people to excel and thrive. Enspira’s areas of HR expertise include:

  • Performance management;
  • Talent strategy & planning;
  • Employee engagement & retention;
  • Manager capability & effectiveness;
  • Diversity, inclusion and belonging;
  • HR function transformation and optimization; and
  • HR technology platforms and solutions.

While conversing with The Silicon Review, Kurt Landon, the enthusiastic entrepreneur, CEO and Founder of Enspira stated, “At Enspira, we’ve brought great minds together and built an amazing team to help employers solve some of their most challenging problems, such as talent and performance management, employee retention, diversity, inclusion and belonging, and manager capability and effectiveness.”

Expert Team Delivers Value

Typically, employers who require HR consulting services have few go-to choices. Either they hire a sole HR consultant practitioner and ask them to manage all of their needs from benefits and recruiting to employee engagement, limiting their ability to execute a broader strategic talent management plan for their organization. Or they engage a larger firm that can often be too costly to afford.

Enspira provides a unique alternative to these options. The firm offers employers of all industries, sizes and geographies access to more than 30 of the best and brightest HR talent who collectively bring years of diverse, cross-industry and global HR and business expertise. Because most of Enspira’s team members have grown up in the HR function and lived in clients’ shoes, they thoroughly understand what works and what doesn’t. This comprehensive expertise, combined with Enspira’s proven, insight-driven methodology, enables their team to create custom and pragmatic HR solutions that deliver value.

“We have found that companies need a wide range of deep HR capabilities and expertise, beyond those offered by sole HR practitioners and large firms. I have carefully created the Enspira team with a unique blend of HR, business, technology and consulting experiences,” said Landon.

Unmatched Service

Enspira typically collaborates with C-level executives, business leaders and other HR professionals to design effective HR solutions. Landon indicated that Enspira continues to receive a net promoter score of 100 percent, demonstrating their services are resonating in the marketplace. In just two years, the firm has seen explosive growth (~600 percent year-over-year) in terms of the number and types of clients they serve due to the expansion of their team, services and capabilities. Their motto has remained the same throughout their growth, which is to deliver a superior and collaborative work experience that creates value for its clients.

Enspira has the breadth of experience to work with a variety of organizations across sectors, industries, geographies and sizes, including: Life Sciences, Financial Services, Consumer Products, Technology, Sports, and Non-profits.

To see the full list of Enspira’s more than 35 current clients, go to:

www.enspirahr.com/about-us#Clients

The firm is also the partner of choice for companies looking for HR-related technology innovation, advice, selection, and implementation. Many of Enspira’s more than 30 professionals either have a technology background or have implemented HR technologies within an organization.

“At Enspira, we look at technology in the context of people and process during our HR strategy discussions with clients,” said Landon. “This was instilled early in my career when I was a software engineer working for a major consulting firm. It was reaffirmed throughout my years as an HR professional through the implementation of large-scale, technology-based organizational transformations and, later in my career, supporting technologists at Expedia and Pinterest.” 

Custom HR Solutions

Enspira uses its proprietary consulting methodology to create custom HR solutions and a positive partnership with clients from the start. The signature elements of the Enspira Method are the listening tour and philosophical alignment sessions, which are interactive, highly-engaging exercises that help create shared accountability, buy-in, and fit-for-purpose solutions with their clients.

“The success of most HR transformation efforts are jeopardized by often jumping too quickly into solution design. Enspira takes the critical step of gaining insights from employees and ensuring agreement on the philosophical beliefs senior executives and other stakeholders have on a particular HR topic,” said Landon. “We use this collective information to thoroughly understand the client’s current environment. It establishes the foundational principles upon which our customized solution will be based.”

According to Paula Cloghessy, Chief People Officer at Translate Bio, and a client of Enspira’s, “I have had the distinct pleasure of partnering with Kurt and the Enspira team on a pivotal talent management project for our growing organization. Throughout our collaboration, Enspira has served as a trusted consulting partner while functioning as an extension of our People and Culture team. From the very beginning, they have effectively engaged with key stakeholders across the organization to gather input and diverse perspectives while truly listening and assessing the evolving needs of our growing organization. Enspira’s demonstrated range of expert knowledge and decades of experience in this space has been invaluable. I look forward to our continued partnership and our next collaboration!”

New Offerings Address Employer Challenges

Enspira continues to develop new and innovative services. The firm recently created Enspira Technology Solutions, a new division complementing its core consulting business, to address the critical elements of the HR process that are currently cumbersome, complex, time-consuming and high risk. By leveraging Enspira’s HR consulting talent and expertise, Enspira Technology Solutions is creating accessible, intuitive and fit-for-purpose tools and technology platforms for “HR Leaders by HR leaders.”

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To meet another unmet need, Enspira recently launched its People Manager Coaching Offering for first-time and frontline managers, where a significant gap exists. Most often, companies hire coaches at the executive level, but don’t typically engage coaches for frontline and first-time people managers. Landon believes this new offering will revolutionize the way companies think about the critical role managers play in creating a high-performing organization. “Often companies promote individuals into a manager role without giving them the resources on an ongoing basis to succeed,” said Landon. “This is acute in many industries, but especially in earlier stage companies and start-ups, where people manager effectiveness is often low. It is analogous to giving someone the keys to the car without teaching them how to drive and it is unfortunate. While some companies do send individuals to in-house or external training programs, it is the ongoing one-on-one and small group coaching that builds lasting capabilities and competence.”

Enspira’s innovative People Manager Coaching Offering is designed for people who are on the front line of people management. The firm matches an individual with a professional coach, a seasoned expert in people management, who provides ongoing advice and the practical skills, tips and tools needed to maximize their personal and professional success. The offering includes custom-designed, structured in-person and/or virtual sessions for individuals or small groups. It features a range of personalized and interactive coaching, including training and development, skill-set building, identification of strengths and growth areas, insights from 360° feedback and progress reporting.

“Managers are entrusted with the most important asset of a company, which is their people,” said Landon. “Sadly, most organizations self-identify that their level of manager capability is low and often spend significant time and money trying to make up for this significant gap. We believe that everything in the HR and talent spectrum will be significantly more effective when companies invest early on in developing great people managers. Great people managers hire the right people, drive better results and retain their top talent, helping to create a high-performing organization.”

Poised for Future Growth

Despite the headwinds many companies face due to COVID-19, Enspira’s growth projections remain strong. Landon states, “The market demand is declaring where our services are needed. We listen to the market and can tap into the right HR experts on our team to meet our clients’ needs.”

Enspira plans to grow its industry-specific practice areas and internationally, based on marketplace needs, talent, experience, and connections. Many of Enspira’s team members have lived or worked in different cultures, speak multiple languages, or have studied abroad.

Better the Team Better the Service

To meet client demand and provide superior service, Landon has tripled the size of his firm, recently adding the following top HR, business and consulting talent: 

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  • Vickie Maurer, a 15-year HR career professional with deep Life Sciences experience and HR operational expertise, serves as Managing Partner of the firm and leads its Life Sciences Practice.
  • Jenna Cohen, brings 15 years of hands-on experience in HR and nonprofit experience to grow Enspira’s Nonprofit and Early-Stage Start-up Practices and lead its performance management and talent strategy and planning offerings.
  • Jennifer Axmacher, with 25 years of global, cross-industry experience in strategic consulting, business transformation, outsourcing operations and account management, serves as President of Enspira Technology Solutions, a new division of the firm. Axmacher also leads Enspira’s strategic partnerships and alliances, including positioning the firm as a key partner of venture capital and private equity firms to support their portfolios.
  • Robyn Powell, With nearly 25 years of experience in people management coaching and leading high-performing teams, oversees its People Manager Coaching Offering and support its Life Sciences Practice.
  • Crystal Riley, with 10 years of global HR, financial services and business experience to build Enspira’s Financial Services Practice.
  • Leesa Hill, brings 25 years in the HR industry to lead Enspira’s Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging and Learning & Development areas of expertise.
  • Jennifer Woods, with more than 25 years of global HR and leadership expertise, supports multiple clients, with a dedicated focus on growing Enspira’s Sports Industry, Health & Healing and Entertainment Practices.

More information on Enspira can be found at: www.enspirahr.com

Meet Kurt Landon, the Leader Behind the Success of Enspira

Kurt Landon is an executive and entrepreneur with 25 years of experience in senior business and HR leadership roles spanning various industries and geographies. He has founded and operated three successful companies and, today, he is the Founder and CEO of Enspira. Landon’s prior experience is with leading organizations such as Accenture, Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, Expedia and Biogen. Most recently, he led the Human Resources function at Pinterest as Senior Vice President, People, and Chief Human Resources Officer. He is also a frequent guest lecturer on the topic of “Business Decision-Making In the Context of Culture” at Northeastern University in Boston, Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium, and “Strategies For Growth” at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Landon brings a deep understanding of the role that technology plays in HR. Unlike most HR professionals, he began his career as a technologist and software engineer at Accenture, where his interest in technology grew. Later Landon moved to the human capital management strategies consulting arm of the firm, where he led various technology implementations and large-scale human capital projects for healthcare and a variety of other industries. During his HR tenure at Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson, he led successful HR technology implementations to support organizational transformations. He then went onto senior-level HR roles within the Life Sciences industry at Biogen, followed by two technology-based companies, Expedia and Pinterest. Landon lives by the principle that high-performance is achieved within an organization by the sound congruence of people, processes, and technology. He is now applying this principle to help his Enspira clients.

Landon studied, lived, and worked in 4 regions, eight countries, and 16 cities and speaks five languages. He holds an undergraduate degree in Italian Language & International Economics from Washington University in St. Louis, and an advanced degree in Global HR Leadership from Rutgers University. Landon lives in Palm Springs, California, with his fiancé Andrew.

“We can do the work because we have done the work. Our team has a unique blend of HR leaders with comprehensive HR experience and career consultants with in-depth expertise in business transformation and operational excellence.”