Shannon Garcia-Lewis, Owner & Principal Consultant, Strategic Business PartnersShannon Garcia-Lewis, Owner & Principal Consultant
Attrition driven by lack of employee engagement is common for companies of all shapes and sizes, whether a 20-people startup or a 200,000-strong Fortune 100 company. Two percent of the U.S. workforce quits monthly because they feel disengaged at work.

Employers must think beyond short term “fun” in the office to keep employees feeling gratified. Engaging employees today is nuanced. This means that engagement is not an HR program but a core business strategy. This is where Strategic Business Partners (SBP) becomes a mainstay for organizations.

Its strategic inputs on HR compliance, employee engagement culture, and talent acquisition help businesses place the people conversation at the top of their business strategy agenda.

In an exclusive interview with Manage HR, Shannon Garcia Lewis, owner and principal consultant of SBP, talks about solutions for present-day employee engagement problems that can be solved through strategic business planning and its efficient execution through transparent communication.

Rebuilding Employer-Employee Relationship

More often than not, HR solution providers have limited expertise in recruitment, talent and benefits management, executive coaching, or business culture development. Employers partner with multiple vendors and consulting companies to steer their talent boat.

It’s never beneficial, as every HR solution provider comes with their approach and agenda, tugging HR processes in multiple directions and making the process more complicated than it already is. Stepping up from traditional HR management, we are focused on offering professional executive coaching to alleviate HR hardship and help them become extraordinary performers. We come with all-in-one expertise; we have experience from hiring to onboarding and building culture. When there’s a complete package, understanding the entire employee lifecycle becomes easier, leading to better strategic solutions that improve the employee experience.

We can pinpoint where some pain points lie, and it might start with the hiring process, for instance. Many of our team members, like myself, have recruiting experience; we can judge the situation and offer our support on strategically hiring and bringing the right people in to build an awardwinning culture.

More importantly, we can guide a wide range of companies, whether a tech startup or a large-scale public company.

Focusing on For-Profits as well as Nonprofits

What distinguishes us is that we have a passion for nonprofit sector. Sitting on the board of two non-profits in Denver (We Don’t Waste and Women’s Bean Project), HR for nonprofits is a different ballgame altogether. Nonprofits are funded solely through donations and grants, so it is challenging for a new or growing organization to find the time or resources to build a dedicated HR department.

Our guidance plays a major role in ensuring their continued growth. Our services help these organizations align their strategies with their missions to recruit talent and develop employment policies and strategies for building a safe and productive workplace.

Not Just Surveying, Taking Actions Based on One-to-One Communications

Employee engagement surveys are good for understanding general trends, but lack the transparency and intimacy employees crave while citing their views. Most surveys are multiple-choice questions, which doesn’t give much room for employees to elaborate on their thoughts.

We go beyond surveys and talk to employees oneon- one to understand what’s happening. We gain their trust almost immediately as we are third parties; employees often hesitate to share their experience with an internal HR professional. Once we learn about their pain points, we discuss them with the company’s leadership team as strategic partners—just as our name suggests—to plan and execute decisions that would solve the problems.

Your Interim CHRO

Much like a CHRO, we oversee the progress of the internal HR teams and mentor them on handling tough communications. We focus on smaller companies because, throughout my career, I have witnessed smaller companies unable to live up to their potential with limited HR resources and potency. We aim to be their springboard to success.

For companies transitioning to hire many employees, we help them set up and build their corporate infrastructure for the next level of growth as they would fall under the new categories of laws and compliance.

Scripting Success Stories Like None Other

We were approached by a national travel company with an exciting project. The company recently lost its Head of Human Resources and had no immediate plans to hire an executivelevel HR professional. During the next 11 months, we worked directly with the CEO and the HR team to implement human resources strategy that supported the organization’s business plan and strategic direction, including a merger with an international corporation.
  • We come with all-in-one expertise; we have experience from hiring to on boarding and building culture. When there’s a complete package, understanding the entire employee lifecycle becomes easier, leading to better strategic solutions that improve the employee experience

It was an excellent win for the client as upskilling those employees helped them with new growth trajectories in their careers while building an HR infrastructure they did not previously have.

A Team Culture Built on Shared Connection

Like our clients, we ensure we are helping our internal team reach their next level of growth by sharing their experiences and working as a team.

We have a flat organizational structure, meaning there’s no hierarchy or designated roles assigned to our team. We put our joined experiences together every time we handle a project. Open communication is central to achieving this. Whether working from the office or home, we are constantly collaborating, helping our members gain new knowledge and experience through teamwork.

Driven by this mutually helping team spirit, we plan on growing our services to serve clients better. One area of interest is workplace investigations, where we would like to start diving more into. Most of the time, companies try to internally handle these. Some of those investigations are legally bound, and companies are realizing the importance of third parties unbiasedly handling them. This would also be an interesting growth prospect for us, adding to our multiple ways of impacting a company’s people, culture, and compliance.