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Enspira: People, Process, and Technology-Driven HR Expertise

Kurt Landon, Founder & CEO, EnspiraKurt Landon, Founder & CEO
Countless organizations across the globe are grappling with the inability to have a sound HR infrastructure that integrates people and processes to effectively develop and sustain employee engagement, retention, and performance management. The situation can be even more complicated with smaller organizations and nonprofits. With limited funding, they often cannot afford to partner with an HR consulting firm, and their problems go unresolved for years. For nonprofits, the complexity is not constrained to resources alone. They need to manage payroll tax burden, measure and improve the performance of volunteers, and comply with stringent regulations to ensure the safety of additional workers.

Kurt Landon* and the Inception of Enspira

As an executive and entrepreneur with 25 years of senior business and HR leadership experience, Kurt Landon has extensive knowledge of talent and people-related issues firsthand. His broad worldview, outgoing personality, and professional background has always driven him to seek out new opportunities. Coming out of college with an Italian Language and International Economics undergraduate degree, he wasn’t afraid to take a first job as a software engineer in a large firm, where his interest in technology grew. Later, he 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.

Throughout his career, he held diverse HR leadership positions, living and working in and outside the U.S., which enabled him to experience unique cultures and gain extensive talent management expertise. He also earned an advanced degree in Global HR Leadership. In light of such rich experiences, he realized that organizations could not be successful optimizing and transforming their talent management and HR capabilities without a sound congruence among people, process, and technology. This led him to establish Enspira, a holistic and innovative HR consulting firm in 2018.

We bring credibility, flexibility and a ‘we can make it work for you’ philosophy that creates value for our clients and deliver HR solutions that work.

Today, California-based Enspira offers a wide range of services, including performance management, talent strategy and planning, employee engagement and retention, manager capability and effectiveness, diversity and inclusion, and HR function transformation and optimization, to enhance and foster the employee-organization relationship. Enspira’s team collaborates with clients and works in liaison with any leader of an organization, enabling small and large caps and nonprofits to overcome the challenges pertaining to HR processes without making a considerable amount of capital investment. “We generally converse with CEOs or HR leaders. However, for some budding companies that do not have dedicated HR teams, we engage with the person who is responsible for HR operations,” says Landon, Founder and CEO of Enspira. “Making money is not Enspira’s top priority. Instead, we care about building long-standing relationships with our clients by delivering value, a superior and collaborative work experience, and HR solutions that work for them in their organization,” Landon adds. This secret sauce has helped Enspira grow 10 times its current client base in less than two years. Currently Enspira serves approximately 25 clients across multiple industries. Additionally, they have added top talent and more than tripled their workforce in the last two quarters to meet client demand.

Right to Speak Comes with a Duty to Listen

Keeping client satisfaction at the core of its business, Enspira finds a myriad of ways to create value for its clients and ensure the effectiveness of its solutions.“Listening to clients with utmost sincerity and patience is the key to achieving this goal,” Landon says. Enspira holds a nimble team of experts who render personal sessions with almost every employee of the client to have an authentic and real-time understanding of how the company works, its culture, and goals. In one instance, while working with GreenLight Fund—a nonprofit organization—Enspira interviewed every single member of the staff to gain a comprehensive understanding of the organization’s talent-related opportunity areas.

By including people in the process and valuing their opinion, Enspira starts to build engagement from the very beginning. Coupled with this, the adept listeners can discover the thread that connects several segregated issues. “The Enspira team doesn’t just report out what we have heard,” said Landon. “Our robust process requires that we listen for nuance and probe for what’s not being said to derive key insights that feed into our tailored recommendations.” For example, the low-performance issue is not always an outcome of employee resentment. Oftentimes, it stems from an organization’s inability to deliver strategic communications to the right members, build productive teams, and draw comprehensive succession plans. Enspira’s team understands these aspects, which ultimately amps up the effectiveness of their solutions.

If listening is the first constituent of Enspira’s approach, the second one is philosophical alignment sessions. Traditionally, while opting for a sound technology solution to solve in-house HR issues, companies used to focus only on the final design of the solution. Such an approach often proves to be impractical and unrealistic as it can have little or no connection with key priorities, goals, and unique expectations of a business.

We have clients ranging from publicly-traded companies with thousands of employees to startups with eight employees. We believe Enspira’s proprietary methodology helps create personalized, mission-aligned solutions for our clients.

Enspira solves these quandaries through philosophical alignment by allowing key stakeholders of a company to discuss, debate, and navigate varied aspects of a given topic—be it performance management, talent strategy planning, HR function optimization, or employee engagement. This fosters better alignment between stakeholders or executive teams regarding the purpose of a solution. Additionally, the philosophical alignment stage is a crucial element for diversity and inclusion. Different ideas from different members are taken into account while making the solution robust and effective. For example, when Sigilon Therapeutics, a Massachusetts-based biotech company, decided to design their first performance management model, Enspira brought Sigilon’s diverse leadership team around the table. The team discussed how they could use a performance management system to attract and retain top talent to advance their goal of developing novel cell therapies to treat chronic diseases such as hemophila A and type 1 diabetes. Using this session as a starting point, Enspira helped Sigilon by designing a compelling performance management solution.

Holistic, Client-Focused Design, Implementation, and Support

After the stages of listening and philosophical alignment that lays the foundation, Enspira architects a customized and data-driven solution for its clients. The process is fast and methodical to ensure optimal outcomes at the right time.

Enspira allows clients to validate the design as well as key assumptions to align the solution with unique client requirements, without overburdening it with unnecessary features and functionalities. Landon mentions, “we have clients ranging from large publicly-traded companies with thousands of employees to startups with eight people. This has honed our capability to determine the sophistication of a solution, depending on the structure and requirements of an organization.”

After the design phase is over, unlike many of its competitors, Enspira does not walk away from their clients. Instead, the firm provides end-to-end support and training, and they monitor the progress, measure success, and continue to collaborate with clients until they achieve desired outcomes. Enspira does all the heavy lifting, including the creation of change management materials and easy-to-use templates and tools for its clients. This saves a considerable amount of time for the HR leaders.

A Win-Win Situation for Every Client

Such a unique value proposition has helped Enspira garner a legion of clients in a short time. Every story of Enspira’s client engagement is a compelling account of its unique approach. Take its first-client, Purple Carrot, for instance. As a fast-growing plant-based meal kit delivery service provider, Purple Carrot decided to invest in a more dedicated manner to retain and motivate employees. Working in liaison with the client, Enspira built a comprehensive career development model (CDM) for them. With a set of skills, knowledge, and behaviors necessary for all roles in the company, this framework provided Purple Carrot employees with a clear idea of the leveling, titling, and promotion process.

Additionally, leveraging this framework, employees— irrespective of their role or position—could understand where they are standing in terms of effectiveness on critical success factors (i.e., competencies) as outlined in the career development model and what they needed to do to move to the next stage. “We completed this work with just three consultants and at a fraction of the cost of what larger consultancies typically charge for this level of service,” Landon adds. Most importantly, in Purple Carrot’s engagement survey, this collaboration was cited as one of the most influential measures that the company undertook with a positive impact on engagement, retention, and career development. Purple Carrot has expanded its scope of work with Enspira to engage them for another year of dedicated service to continue to improve the employee experience within the company.

Backed by the prowess of such success stories, Enspira has plans to sharpen its capabilities to address the growing pain points of different market segments and different-sized companies, including financial services, healthcare, government, sports, technology, and retail.“I’m proud of the world-class, diverse team of nearly 30+ human resources and business experts at Enspira ready to meet our clients’ needs,” said Landon. Some recent hires include: Jenna Cohen with 15 years of hands-on experience in human resources and nonprofit program management to grow its Nonprofit Practice; Crystal Riley with a unique combination of global human resources, financial services, and business experience to build Enspira’s Financial Services Practice; Jennifer Axmacher with a 25-year technology consulting track record to serve as President of Enspira Technology Solutions, a new division of the company; and Vickie Maurer, an HR career professional with deep healthcare experience in strategic talent management, organization design and development, change management, and leadership development will spearhead Enspira’s Healthcare Practice. Additionally, given the growing demands for creating an inclusive work environment, Leesa Hill will lead Enspira’s Diversity & Inclusion and Learning and Development Initiatives and Jennifer Woods with more than 20 years of HR experience, will work across various clients and establish the firm’s sports industry presence. “In an effort to serve a broader clientele, our team also has decades of professional and educational experience outside the U.S., an area of future growth and expansion for Enspira,” said Landon.

*Kurt Landon was formerly known as Kurt Serrano. In honor of his recent marriage, he changed his last name.
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Enspira

Company
Enspira

Headquarters
Greater Los Angeles Area, CA

Management
Kurt Landon, Founder & CEO

Description
ENSPIRA is a boutique HR consulting company fueled by hundreds of years of global, collective, cross-industry experience. The firm has established itself as the key provider of workforce management solutions. Its workforce management solutions include Performance Management, Talent Strategy & Planning, Employee Engagement & Retention, Manager Capability & Effectiveness, Diversity & Inclusion, and HR Function Optimization. Firms can rely on ENSPIRA’s end-to-end, hands-on support and counsel. The firm focuses on building customized, fit-for-purpose HR solutions, monitors progress against objectives, and also assists with implementation, including providing training, communications and change management support.

Enspira News

ENSPIRA Marks Second Anniversary With More Than 600% Year-over-Year Growth and Diverse Team of Human Resources Experts

Kurt Landon, CEO and Founder
LOS ANGELES - Enspira, an innovative human resources (HR) consulting firm, marks the second anniversary of its founding with substantial employer demand for its services, resulting in more than 600 percent growth year-over-year and a significant expansion of its consulting team of HR experts.

Founded in 2018, Enspira works with employers ranging from start-ups and nonprofits to large publicly traded companies across industries, geographies and sectors on a spectrum of HR needs, including talent strategy and planning; performance management; employee engagement and retention; manager capability and effectiveness; diversity, inclusion and belonging; HR optimization and technology platforms, selection and counsel.

"On our second anniversary, we're proud to celebrate what has made us successful, which is our outstanding team of HR experts who collectively bring hundreds of years of global, cross-industry experience to deliver strategic and pragmatic solutions," said Kurt Landon, CEO and Founder, Enspira. "Enspira has been non-stop since day one, working hard to make a strategic impact with employers, enabling the success of in-house HR teams and elevating the field of HR with best-practice solutions. I am incredibly pleased that our client reputation has enabled us to maintain a net promoter score of 100 percent."

To meet client demand and provide superior service, Enspira recently added consulting practices dedicated to serving employers in the Life Sciences, Financial Services, Sports, Nonprofit, Consumer and Entertainment industries. Enspira also launched its People Manager Coaching Offering for first-time and frontline managers, where a significant gap exists. "Often companies promote individuals into a frontline manager role without giving them the resources on an ongoing basis to succeed," said Landon. "People Manager Coaching can provide the ongoing practical tips and training managers need to address current global workplace issues such as the pandemic and diversity, inclusion and belonging-related challenges."

The firm also created a new division, Enspira Technology Solutions (ETS), which complements 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, ETS is creating accessible, intuitive and fit-for-purpose tools and technology platforms "for HR leaders by HR leaders."

ENSPIRA Marks Second Anniversary With More Than 600% Year-over-Year Growth and Diverse Team of Human Resources Experts

LOS ANGELES - Enspira, an innovative human resources (HR) consulting firm, marks the second anniversary of its founding with substantial employer demand for its services, resulting in more than 600 percent growth year-over-year and a significant expansion of its consulting team of HR experts.

Founded in 2018, Enspira works with employers ranging from start-ups and nonprofits to large publicly traded companies across industries, geographies and sectors on a spectrum of HR needs, including talent strategy and planning; performance management; employee engagement and retention; manager capability and effectiveness; diversity, inclusion and belonging; HR optimization and technology platforms, selection and counsel.

"On our second anniversary, we're proud to celebrate what has made us successful, which is our outstanding team of HR experts who collectively bring hundreds of years of global, cross-industry experience to deliver strategic and pragmatic solutions," said Kurt Landon, CEO and Founder, Enspira. "Enspira has been non-stop since day one, working hard to make a strategic impact with employers, enabling the success of in-house HR teams and elevating the field of HR with best-practice solutions. I am incredibly pleased that our client reputation has enabled us to maintain a net promoter score of 100 percent."

To meet client demand and provide superior service, Enspira recently added consulting practices dedicated to serving employers in the Life Sciences, Financial Services, Sports, Nonprofit, Consumer and Entertainment industries. Enspira also launched its People Manager Coaching Offering for first-time and frontline managers, where a significant gap exists. "Often companies promote individuals into a frontline manager role without giving them the resources on an ongoing basis to succeed," said Landon. "People Manager Coaching can provide the ongoing practical tips and training managers need to address current global workplace issues such as the pandemic and diversity, inclusion and belonging-related challenges."

The firm also created a new division, Enspira Technology Solutions (ETS), which complements 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, ETS is creating accessible, intuitive and fit-for-purpose tools and technology platforms "for HR leaders by HR leaders."

In addition to recent senior-level hires of Jenna Cohen, Crystal Riley, Vickie Maurer, and Robyn Powell, Enspira has tripled the size of its consulting team to more than 30 HR experts. Enspira's newest client-facing team members bring diverse and unparalleled HR expertise and comprehensive business knowledge, including:

Jennifer Axmacher, with 25 years of global, cross-industry experience in strategic consulting, business transformation, outsourcing operations and account management, having previously worked at Accenture. She now serves as President of ETS and leads Enspira's strategic partnerships and alliances, including positioning the firm as a key partner of venture capital and private equity companies to support their portfolios.

Leesa Hill brings 25 years of experience working in the HR industry to lead Enspira's diversity, inclusion and belonging and learning and development areas of expertise. Before Enspira, she worked in HR roles at Biogen, Pfizer and Kforce Inc.

Jennifer Woods has more than 25 years of global HR and leadership expertise and supports multiple clients with a dedicated focus on growing Enspira's Sports Industry, Health and Healing and Entertainment Practices. Prior to Enspira, she worked at Expedia Group, JP Morgan Chase, Volt Technical Resources and Alaska Airlines.

Vivian Chiu, SHRM-CP, with more than 10 years of experience in HR and business operations, serves as Chief of Staff and thought-partner to Enspira's leadership team, and as Senior Manager, she oversees all aspects of the firm's strategic business operations. Previously, Vivian held an HR generalist position at Rothschild & Co.

Angela Gatta has more than six years of HR experience and works across multiple Enspira client engagements. Prior to Enspira, she worked at Pembroke, Biogen and Rothschild & Co.

Sheirin Torres, SHRM-CP, serves as Enspira's Client Coordinator and brings six years of HR and operations experience. Previously, she worked at Banfield Pet Hospital as a Talent Acquisition Coordinator.

"The nature of the workplace is evolving at warp speed, sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Landon. "Now more than ever, employers are rethinking their HR policies, practices and tools. Our newly expanded team of experts and innovative offerings can help employers in any stage of their evolution enable their people to grow and thrive, so their organization does too. I'm excited for Enspira's next chapter, where we plan to grow internationally to help more employers across the globe create high-performing organizations."

ENSPIRA Names Vickie Maurer to Lead Human Resources Consulting Practice Dedicated to Life Sciences Companies

LOS ANGELES - Employers and Human Resources (HR) leaders are facing unprecedented times in response to COVID-19. Enspira, an innovative HR consulting firm fueled by hundreds of years of collective, diverse and deep cross-industry experience, is continuing to expand its team of experts to meet the growing needs of companies in multiple industries and geographies. Today, it announced the appointment of Vickie Maurer, a seasoned HR leader previously at Cardinal Health and Johnson & Johnson, as Senior Vice President of its Life Sciences practice and Managing Partner of the firm.

"Supporting the needs of life sciences companies is part of Enspira's DNA, given my previous HR experience at Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Biogen and the number of clients we currently serve in this industry," said Kurt Landon, CEO and Founder, Enspira. "Vickie is the perfect choice to take the helm of our Life Sciences practice and serve as Managing Partner of the firm, with her career-long focus in the industry and strong operational leadership. Now more than ever, nonprofit and for-profit companies in multiple industries”from life sciences, financial services, nonprofits, sports, entertainment, consumer products, technology and more”-can rely on Enspira's unparalleled team of experts for practical HR solutions that achieve real results”with most of our services delivered virtually."

Maurer has more than 15 years of HR leadership experience, having held highly-complex roles in various organizational environments, including turnaround, high growth and stable markets. She has deep experience in strategic talent management, organizational design, change management, bespoke career development models and leadership effectiveness.

"Throughout my career, I have worked with business leaders at all levels on their HR initiatives to successfully improve employee engagement and advance a company's strategic mission," said Maurer. "It is an honor to join Enspira, a one-of-a-kind HR consulting firm, with incredible HR and business talent and a client-centric approach. Together with Enspira's experienced team, I welcome the opportunity to partner with life sciences companies in all stages of growth”bringing them fit-for-purpose HR solutions."

Maurer is responsible for providing strategic human resources counsel and solutions to Enspira's Life Sciences clients, the firm's largest industry segment, as well as have senior leadership oversight of the firm's business operations and growth strategy. The Enspira team's areas of expertise include performance management; talent strategy and planning; engagement and retention; manager capability and effectiveness; diversity and inclusion; and HR function optimization, in addition to technology platforms, selection and implementation counsel.

Maurer comes to Enspira from Cardinal Health, which she joined in 2016 as an HR Business Partner in the Pharmaceutical Distribution business. Her last role was as a senior member of the Cardinal Health Human Resources organization, spearheading leader effectiveness for the enterprise, as well as global talent management for the Medical Segment. Before Cardinal Health, Maurer spent 10 years at Johnson & Johnson, emerging through their preeminent HR Leadership Development Program. Maurer also held various HR positions at Arnold Worldwide, Massachusetts General Hospital and Bristol-Myers Squibb. She holds a B.S. degree in Economics and Human Resources from Boston College and an M.A. degree in Human Resources and Industrial Relations from the University of Minnesota. She also studied abroad at the Melbourne Business School and the London School of Economics.

"As Itamar Medical strives to lead the integration of sleep apnea diagnosis and management into the cardiac and direct-to-consumer patient care pathways, the Enspira team has helped ensure our talent practices best enable our growth goals," said Gilad Glick, President and CEO of Itamar Medical, a medical technology company and a client of Enspira's. "I'm pleased to have the opportunity to work with Vickie Maurer and Kurt Landon at Enspira, who were my former HR business partners at Johnson & Johnson. They listen, are responsive and provide practical solutions tailored to our unique needs."