top of page
  • Jordan Strate

Spotlight Interview with Kristan Strate


“I believe that if you don’t have a clear vision of where you are going, you are not likely to achieve what you set out to do.”

- Kristan Strate, Founder & President of Synergy HR Consulting



Q: What sets you apart from your competition?


"What sets Synergy apart from our competition is the fact that we are business people – not just HR professionals. We know that what we do today has a huge impact on whether our clients will achieve their long-term objectives. We start all our engagements by working to understand our client’s business. Their purpose, vision, and values. When we understand why they exist, where they are going and what they value then we are in the best position to help our clients build systems and tools on a strong foundation of identified and defined core competencies – behaviours, skills and attributes that will help our clients realize their vision.


I believe that if you don’t have a clear vision of where you are going, you are not likely to achieve what you set out to do. We help to build great workplaces by aligning HR practices with our clients Purpose, Vision & Values. This creates success at every level of the business."


"Defining success is a personal matter; every business and its leaders face its own unique challenges and success is defined by how they meet them.What success means for Synergy is helping our clients meet their goals while building great workplaces."
- Kristan Strate, Founder & President of Synergy HR Consulting


Q: What is the biggest challenge you have overcome since starting your business?


“Let’s be honest, I am selling something that businesses tend to need but have a reluctance to buy. HR is typically viewed as a “cost center”, a function that doesn’t directly contribute to profit but costs money to operate. The ROI on your HR initiatives is not always tangible, but we all know that building a great workplace is the first step towards success.


We also find ourselves fighting an outdated stereotype. HR has traditionally been seen as a transactional partner in business – admin support. The truth is that many organizations, and people for that matter, don’t like HR because traditionally we have been seen as meddlesome or the department that says “NO!”, this certainly is one of the greatest challenges we continue to face.


We know the critical role HR plays in the success of our client’s businesses. HR is necessary to build programing, develop and implement best practices and to support leaders. We are making progress though! If there’s one thing that I’ve learned, it’s that lasting change takes time and patience!”



Q: What is one thing you wish you knew when you started your business?

“I’ve learned that connecting with like-minded people is critical to success. The importance of surrounding yourself with a support network in this fast-paced world cannot be overstated. I am currently a member of TEC Canada and Women’s President Organization where I’ve surrounded myself with some truly great people. These leaders encourage and support me every day and have become one of the key pillars of my business’ success.”



Q: What are some challenges your industry will face in the next 12 to 18 months?


“I foresee my industry facing trouble, like most, from a lack of high-quality skilled labour. We will be losing critical experienced HR practitioners in the next ten years to retirement and we lack experienced talent to meet this growing demand. While schools continue to produce strong academic HR talent, we need people with real experience to fill the void left by the old guard.


This dovetails into another challenge: how do we integrate artificial intelligence to effectively support businesses? AI needs to be seen as a tool first and foremost, one that can be used to make up for this growing lack of experienced talent. Synergy is currently experimenting with solutions that integrate technology. So far our we’ve received some great feedback on what we are developing and we are positive it will be well received.


Lastly, we have to make sure that HR continues to have a seat at the table. Coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses are struggling to make up for lost opportunities. We know that business owners often feel too busy to make HR a priority, and consequently HR is usually one of the first departments to become an afterthought. However, I believe that if we continue to lobby for a seat at the table and continue to deliver meaningful solutions our industry will be back on track in no time.”



Q: What does it mean for a business to be successful?

“Defining success is a personal matter; every business and its leaders face its own unique challenges and success is defined by how they meet them.


In its simplest form and from a purely fiscal perspective a successful business makes money. Today it seems profit is considered an ugly word, but the reality is that unprofitable business won’t create jobs and eventually will fail. From an altruistic perspective, a successful business makes a difference in the communities in which they operate and in the lives of their employees.


What success means for Synergy is helping our clients meet their goals while building great workplaces.”



Q: What do you want to be known for?


“That’s such an important question. It’s hard to believe how much Synergy has grown over the past 16 years. I’m proud of the connections we’ve made and the innovation we’ve achieved in this time, I love the feeling of a job well done and knowing our clients are happy.


Personally, I feel that I’ve helped my business by being a happy and optimistic person. There have certainly been some hard times, but I’ve never lost sight of my vision and I think the drive and passion that I share with my team has been key to Synergy’s continued success.”




4 views0 comments

Related Posts

See All
bottom of page