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A Passion for Helping People Drives One Business Partner Consultant at NHA

NHA Communications Team  |  September 18, 2020

Meet Rachel George, a People Services Business Partner (BP) Consultant at National Heritage Academies (NHA), who believes that whenever you’re calling HR, it’s never your best day. Fortunately, there are positions designed to support employees and leaders during these situations, one of which belongs to George.

“Rachel is an instrumental part of the Business Partner team,” said Matt Bazen, People Services Manager of BPs. “She has stepped up on multiple occasions, is never afraid to tackle any project, and keeps her stakeholder’s best interest in mind at all times. She has stepped up significantly when the team was short staffed, so our schools didn’t miss a beat.”’

As a BP Consultant, George supports 33 NHA schools in Michigan, Ohio, North Carolina, Indiana, and Georgia. She is passionate about helping people and solving problems, which came in handy when she jumped into the BP role to cover a leave during the pandemic.

How would you describe your job?

“I collaborate with People Services BPs in providing support with staff engagement and retention, performance management, and talent management for our schools,” said George. “Separate from supporting BPs, my team is responsible for the substitute teacher management system, worker’s compensation, file requests and subpoenas, and unemployment claims.”

How has your role changed over the course of the pandemic?

“My job has changed quite a bit since COVID-19,” George reflects. “One of the main things that changed for my team was how we utilized our substitute teachers since we closed our schools at the beginning of the pandemic. The need for substitutes changed, and as a result we had to rethink how we used our substitute management system.”

What was it like to jump into the BP role during the pandemic?

Jumping into the BP role during this time was a huge challenge for George. “The BP position currently plays a large role in supporting our schools through the pandemic, so there was a significant amount of pressure to hit the ground running. This was my first time doing long-term coverage for the BP role, so I had quite a bit to learn,” she said. “Ultimately, this ended up being a great opportunity that has led me to understand more around how I can better support my BPs and schools while in my BP consultant role.”

What drives you to problem-solve?

“I believe that helping people is one of the best ways that I can contribute to building a better workplace culture and community. I really enjoy collaborating with my team in order to come up with solutions that help create a better environment for our students and staff, as well as providing support and advice for staff and school leaders as they navigate difficult situations at work.”

What is the impact of your role on our students and teachers?

“I think one of the biggest impacts my team has on teachers and students is by making sure we are holding ourselves and our staff accountable to our core values. Our workplace culture for teachers and learning environment for students is significantly influenced by everyone’s behavior, and it is important for us to make sure we are being intentional about our actions.”

What has been your role in ensuring schools reopen smoothly?

“My team is working on moving our process for worker’s compensation from physical paperwork to being an online form for employees. We were able to finish up the project early and have it ready for our schools for the 2020-21 school year. One of the main goals that we have every year as a team and department is to ensure that all of our schools are fully staffed on day one of the school year. While we still have that goal this year, it looks a little bit different as we are opening schools with different learning models in response to the pandemic.”

What part of your work are you most passionate about?

“My favorite part of my job is working with my team. Everyone is incredibly talented, and we all have had each other’s backs throughout the COVID-19 chaos,” explained George. “I enjoy hearing everyone’s different perspectives and solutions to problems in our daily team meetings and am bummed that we have had to miss working together in person for the last five months. I also especially appreciate my BP consultant teammates, Nick Witteveen and Ashley Wolters, for their continuous support throughout this last year. We all have had to step into BP roles this summer and being able to reach out to them and talk through things has been incredibly helpful."