TPG Spotlight: Meet Kayla Brar

Kayla with Quote

"I can share my thoughts, I can brainstorm with someone, I can have a collaborative experience with anyone in this group without fear of what they might think. I am listened to; I’m respected and trusted. I genuinely feel that TPG has psychological safety which, to me, is the best thing we can strive for, and it's already ingrained in our culture."

What are some of the main things you have learned in your role?

I would say there are different categories of things I’ve learned. One thing for sure is being a part of a consulting group that is always focused on being on top of the latest and greatest methodologies and tools. We are consistently researching emerging trends in the workplace to stay up to date in our respective fields or areas of specialization. I learned a while ago—and it has been reinforced at this company—that learning doesn’t stop when you are done school, or after you have a certain destination. It is continuous throughout your career.

We often do lunch-n’-learns to help people improve upon their competencies for anything from project management to the recent one on the art of storytelling. I felt like even though I’m not a consultant directly working with our clients, our employees and our candidates are my clients, they are who I’m here to serve, so those lunch-n’-learns help work on those competencies and allows me to improve on those skills myself.

Something else I’ve learned from this team is that their intelligence and motivation have encouraged me to do my best because I feel like everyone is constantly working towards improving upon their goals, which is inspiring.

What has been the biggest challenge you have faced in your career thus far and how have you overcome it?

Within TPG, I’m a department of one, and as a small department, one of the main challenges I’ve overcome is not having a designated sounding board. With that being said, every employee who is a part of TPG is trusted to make decisions. Our values give us the guidance to make decisions for the highest good of our clients.

However, with that, it’s been great to hear our leadership’s point of view on a topic. Having built the company, understanding various policies and procedures from David’s (CEO) point of view has been valuable in giving me more direction.

Being a small department has encouraged me to source out resources, so I don’t feel like I’m on my own. Even though we have a leadership team who is a great sounding board, sometimes there are more specific things that I need to talk to someone else in HR about.

I am a part of the Human Resources professional association, and they have a mentorship program, so I sought out a mentor in a more senior HR role. This allows me to get their perspective on how they would approach a certain situation. I also believe in networking. I’m always networking within the field of Human Resources and in women in leadership groups.

One thing that I’ve learned as an HR professional is that you may think you are doing something to help one group, but you really have to understand how it affects the entire organization. I’ve learned how to work with people, work for people, work with leadership and work for different groups. At the end of the day, I am trusted to do what is in the best interest of the TPG, which gives me the focus to know what to do in many situations.


What are some of your strategies for work/life balance?

Our group isn’t the typical group that works 9-5, and they are sometimes working around the clock for our clients. My schedule is that I arrive at 8 am and leave at 5. I am part of a workout class where if I miss it, I get charged, so that’s my motivation to be out at the right time. Personally, I just can’t be seated for 14 hours at a time. I need to get up and move. Usually, in the evening I will open up my laptop again and work for a bit and I’m very productive in that short time. For me, I don’t mind responding to emails on the weekends and evenings because I know it’s going to help my colleagues.

One of the things I do in the evening is that I write myself an email of things I need to do the next day, and I’ll prioritize them. I’ll then highlight the “need to get done” items in that list. In the morning I come in and look at that email, which helps me stay focused on my priorities throughout the day.

Early in my career, I didn’t understand how important wellness and my physical health were. I needed to be my own advocate when it comes to those things and learn that there are things that I can’t compromise on. I think everyone needs to strike their own balance and do what’s best for them to make it work.

I also recently got into meditation, which although I’m new to it, it has helped me. I’m not great at keeping my mind clear, but some of the breathing techniques have helped me manage my stress at work. If I’m getting overwhelmed, I can take some deep breaths and realize that there’s nothing here that I can’t do. I’m realizing that sometimes I need to take a couple of seconds to breathe so that I can be productive for a few hours after that.

In the last year or so, I’ve taken notice of my mind, my body, how I feel, and I’ve made a lot of changes in my health. I’m so grateful that I did because it helps me be successful in my role. I’ve made it a priority because I know I need to be productive and to be an effective person for my family and friends, and to be a trusted and effective Human Resources partner. As an HR partner, my focus for this group is understanding how we can continue excelling and how we can grow to be the TPG of tomorrow.

What has been your favourite part of working with TPG?

100%, it’s the psychological safety I feel when I’m here. I can list an idea, I can share my thoughts, I can brainstorm with someone, I can have a collaborative experience with anyone in this group without fear of what they might think. I am listened to; I’m respected and trusted. I genuinely feel that TPG has psychological safety which, to me, is the best thing we can strive for, and it’s already ingrained in our culture. I feel so welcomed and appreciated to be here.

You spend half of your life at work, and I’m lucky that I don’t have to wake up every morning to go to an unethical place because I would dread it. I’m grateful that I can wake up and come here. I’m really happy that this is the environment I get to come into, with our people.