Seven insights into Sylvia Altwasser, Jouta’s newest HR Consultant

We believe that meaningful human connections in a work/business setting are the foundation for engagement, enthusiasm, retention, and ultimately, success. Conversely, when employees, clients, consultants, business partners (and so forth) are merely anonymous, “unknown” people interacting solely as the roles they play – it’s merely a transaction.

As we noted in our Leading with Love post, acknowledging the people you work with as humans –  learning where they come from, what and who is important to them, what they do outside of work, and how their lives are going – contributes to deeper connections, engagement, and creativity. 

With that in mind, inspired by Levi King (Co-Founder/Executive Chair of the Board at Nav) and building upon our own culture of genuinely knowing one another, we’re starting a regular “meet your Jouta team” post, so you too can know each of us just a little bit more.   

Meet Sylvia Altwasser, Jouta HR Consultant

As she’s the newest member of our team, we’re starting our series with Sylvia to not only introduce her to you, but also give you a glimpse of who she is, both professionally and personally.  

We at Jouta know Sylvia to be a talented HR professional who has experience in many industries, including Indigenous organizations. She is kind, insightful, thoughtful, inquisitive, grounded, and family-focused.

Following are seven additional insights about Sylvia that shape who she is today, what she strives for, and what’s important to her:

Why HR? What led you to the profession and why are you still in it?

After working in the finance sector, I went back to school in my early 30s to take business administration, majoring in accounting. With my aptitude for numbers, I felt this was the right career choice. Upon completion, I began working for a manufacturing company in an accounting clerk position, but also assisting with payroll and health & safety. It was there that I was exposed to human resources and realized I enjoyed working with people more than I enjoyed numbers. Every day was so different with unique tasks and situations. Looking at all the variables of a situation and seeking the optimal solution was challenging and rewarding, and I loved helping them find the resources and tools to help them succeed. Over time, I grew in this position, often drawing on internal resources I didn’t know I had. 

I’m still in the HR profession due to my love of people and how immensely rewarding it is. I continue to learn every day, am exposed to unique situations and environments, and feel like I can play a small part in helping people succeed.

Why Jouta? What attracted you to work with us?

While working for a different organization, we contracted Jouta to do some employee training. The HR Consultant, Sabine Bell, who provided the training was professional, knowledgeable, thorough, and connected easily with employees. Although the subject matter was sensitive, she carried the training out with respect and compassion. I was so compelled that I reached out to her afterwards to discuss what it was like to be an HR Consultant and what it entailed. Shortly after, Jouta began looking for an HR Consultant to join their team and I applied. It was exciting to consider working for different organizations and industries, delivering a variety of different services!

The interview process was a unlike any other I’d experienced and it became clear that Jouta did things differently. I was intrigued and impressed. Cori, the other HR Consultants, and support team were all warm, welcoming, knowledgeable, and committed to doing their best. I knew this was a company I could not only feel good working for, but one that would also challenge me to continue to do better and be better. Ultimately, the focus on delivering the very best to clients, leaving clients better off than they were before, and the supportive team that encourages and drives each other to do our best is why I’m here.

What fills you up, brings you joy, and/or takes you to a ‘flow’ state?

Professionally, it’s knowing that I’ve done my best, that I’ve been able to make a difference, and/or that someone may have benefited from what I’ve done or from knowledge I’ve shared. Personally, it’s spending time with family and the craziness that brings. It’s the simple things: playing board games together and watching them interact and being able to feel the love in the room; sitting around the fire looking out at the lake and reflecting on how blessed we truly are. 

What’s one thing about yourself and/or your ‘story’ that fundamentally makes you YOU?

I’ve had mentors from a very young age – people who have come into my life and provided hope, knowledge, and guidance. When I’ve most needed support, they’ve somehow been placed in my life.

Who would you invite as a dinner guest (or go for a walk/on an adventure with) and why?

Brene Brown because I find her fascinating. The knowledge and insight she’s gained from researching (in particular, vulnerability and joy) is intriguing. I’d like to have a deeper understanding about feeling good enough, taking chances, and being brave in all areas of my life.

What’s something you’ve dreamed about doing for a long time but haven’t done? When will you do it?

I’ve dreamed about driving across Canada with my husband. We haven’t seen Niagara Falls or the Maritimes and I’d love to take the time to do this. We’re hopeful we can do this in the next five years. We will do it!

If you could be known for anything and/or leave a legacy, what would it be?

That I am/was compassionate, kind, and humble and that I was the very best mom and grandma.

Reach out today to meet Sylvia and the rest of the Jouta team!