Having A Diverse And Inclusive Workforce Can Lead To Less Employee Turnover

I had the pleasure of interviewing Starr Harry, PHR, SHRM-CP at G&A Partners. Starr has more than seven years of HR experience in HR…

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I had the pleasure of interviewing Starr Harry, PHR, SHRM-CP at G&A Partners. Starr has more than seven years of HR experience in HR functions across several industries. In her current role as a Client Advocate for G&A Partners, she plays an integral role in actively managing client accounts by supporting the development and implementation of human resources policies, procedures and practices for G&A Partners’ clients.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since starting at G&A Partners?

I didn’t realize how many employers weren’t aware that overtime is calculated on a workweek basis, not a pay-period basis. The first time I became aware of this was during a meeting with a new client that had been in business for over 10 years where we went over their existing policies. When I informed them that this was how overtime should be calculated, they were hesitant that my advice was incorrect since this had never been an issue or ever come up prior to me. Although an awkward situation, I managed to instill trust in this client and mitigate risks of wage claims for them.

What do you think makes G&A Partners stand out? Can you share a story?

What stands out about G&A Partners is that the management seems to truly care about work/life blend, which is reflected in our family-oriented culture. During my interview process, I remember one of the executives describing this culture, and then mentioning going on vacation with his family, leaving work to be with family, etc. Three years later, I still feel the company values work/life balance and family.

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now?

I am partnering with a client and with our Marketing department to assist in rolling out their own Net Promoter Score® (NPS) program for both clients and employees, modeled after G&A Partners’ own NPS and eNPS programs. It’s exciting to see my client grow and be able to help them be more proactive about the services provided to their own employees and clients.

What advice would you give to CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?

See what motivates your high-potential staff and offer it. Also, be open to ideas on how technology and processes can be enhanced to better serve internal and external clients.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?

Aside from my parents and husband, career-wise I am grateful to Thomas Spahr from my Home Depot days. Tom helped open the door for me to get my little toe into HR. Thank you Tom!

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

The reason I wanted to be in HR was to help people advance their careers and achieve their highest potential. I did that by starting as a staffing coordinator, and my own career has evolved so much since then that I not only help individual people, but entire organizations achieve their next level of success by optimizing their human capital.

Can you share the some ways that increased diversity can help a company’s bottom line? 

  1. Diverse teams lead to better/faster outcomes for customers
  2. Having teams that reflect a variety of life experiences — whether career, travel, background, tenure, etc. — will allow your organization to view challenges and opportunities from new perspectives and build an innovative culture that allows teams to quickly come to a solution that they might not have otherwise have come to if everyone had the same experiences to draw from.
  3. Diversity ensures different perspectives when addressing customer issues
  4. Every person looks at a situation differently. A diverse team allows for a well-thought-out solution and several options that may work for a client.
  5. Diversity creates an environment where employees can feel safe and empowered to bring their true selves to work.
  6. I like that G&A celebrates diversity and celebrates events from different cultures, like Chinese New Year. This encourages others to learn about these cultures and fellow employees in a fun way.
  7. Having a diverse team can help your company capture a greater share of the consumer market.
  8. The consumer market is incredibly diverse, and consumers typically like to buy from those they can relate to.
  9. Having a diverse and inclusive workforce can lead to less employee turnover.
  10. When employees feel comfortable at work being themselves, it creates trust and helps employees feel secure knowing that they will not be judged or treated differently for who they are. This helps employees focus on their work, rather than being accepted.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?

Find a way or make a way. This was one of our (many) mottos at my alma mater Clark Atlanta University. Because we had come too far to give up, we knew not graduating was NOT an option, no matter the adversity. This serves as a guiding principle in my career to this day. If I’m faced with a challenging situation with a client, for instance, I remember this quote and do my best to find a way or make a way to always provide the best service and value I can.

Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this 🙂

Marvin Ellison. He was the Northern Division President of Home Depot when I met him fresh out of college. Unlike most other executives, he always made it a point to say hello, even when in a hurry. From afar, I watched how his contributions to the company helped turn it around and also increase stock. For me, his career has been inspirational for me to follow, and I’m looking forward to seeing what he does with Lowe’s.

Jilea Hemmings CEO & Co-Founder of Best Tyme. She is running a series on how diversity can increase a company’s bottom line

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