In an interview with Manage HR, Terry Gillis, CEO and President of Ahria Consulting, shares his insights on how the company is shaping the leaders of today to guide their organization and workforce to success.
Can you provide us with an overview of Ahria Consulting?
The purpose of Ahria Consulting and its genesis is centered around my father and his life experience. A few years ago, when he was diagnosed with cancer and decided to share his financial details, it transitioned to us having a conversation about whom I would approach for life advice in his absence.
This led to him talking about his distaste for his job and his wish for a peaceful retirement. During that moment, I realized that everyone deserves a great work environment, which is Ahria Consulting’s purpose. We believe that no one should work in a place or role that does not feel right or makes them regret everyday.
Our focus at Ahria Consulting is on building an environment where staff members are motivated to excel each day, which is vital not only to their own success but the success of any company. Through our leadership development programs, we aim to transform organizations by ensuring that people are in their jobs for the right reasons, are making important contributions, and are there by choice.
Employee engagement is vital in today’s world, and leadership development programs help create and recreate leaders on how to foster a positive work culture. Good leadership prevents and addresses the recurrence of ‘quiet quitting’ or good employees leaving the organization.
What are common challenges that your clients face?
The demographic crunch where there aren’t enough people to fill existing roles is a prevalent issue. This has compelled corporations to elevate existing employees to positions of leadership, even if they lack the appropriate experience, skills, or training.
Please throw some light on your onboarding process.
Ahria Consulting adheres to a set of key principles based on which the leadership development solutions for each customer are designed. We believe that a “needs assessment” at the beginning of any assignment is crucial and it is a lens that will help us gain a deep understanding of every organization we work with, their culture, and their level of participation.
The needs assessment process and the numerous in-depth questions can be frustrating for clients at times as we urge them to dig deeper and identify the fundamental cause of problems. There is no standard script for the analysis and goals but it is driven by a “five whys” analysis.
As part of our needs assessment, we understand our client’s work culture, employee engagement levels, and current status to tailor a customized leadership development program instead of just pulling something off the shelf. Our motto is one size fits one. We try to meet our clients where they are in the journey with a solution that suits them and their needs.
Our focus at Ahria Consulting is to transform work so employees are excited and motivated every day to contribute at their very best levels which is vital to the success of any company
What sets you apart in the leadership development landscape?
Leadership development services are plentiful in the market, and we seek to differentiate ourselves through a holistic and multifaced approach to our offerings. We conduct several meetings with our customers as part of the consultation to understand their needs, which includes individual sessions and team check-ins. This is essential to bring about positive change in the organization as we believe that the issues in leadership cannot be solved in a moment. Through conversations, we gain a comprehensive understanding of our client’s setbacks and employ psychometric assessments that help leaders understand their strengths and shortcomings. Leadership development is a journey, not an event.
We have an HR advisory practice that enables us to provide solid foundations for firms to build from. We enable our clients to get a holistic picture of the complete life cycle of the employee, which gives us a better lens on the organizational challenges that come with leadership development. This helps us provide a tailored solution that would best address the client’s issues, and this strategy is what distinguishes us in the leadership development landscape. Ahria Consulting does not limit itself to providing a solution, and we work as partners, following up with clients to provide further assistance when needed.
Can you share a customer success story?
During the months of June and July this year, we worked with a client who was relatively new to the manufacturing realm. The client’s team had a range of talent and expertise but was in need of proper guidance. We presented our leadership development core program after modifying it to match the client’s needs and presented real-world examples. Their employee engagement increased after 20 employees in leadership roles took part in the program, and turnover rates declined since starting the program. The leaders were less frustrated and in a better state of mind, which had a significant impact on the organization. This proves how much of a difference the right guidance can make in developing influential leaders and role models.