At Namely, our coworkers are one of the top reasons we love what we do. The Meet Namely series spotlights real Namely employees across the company. Read on to learn how our employees are helping us build better workplaces.
With extensive experience in building client support processes, Patti Gilliard joined Namely in 2018 as the VP of Shared Services. Patti is well-equipped to tackle the challenge of scaling our support processes and high-touch service model as we grow.
We caught up with Patti to learn more about what attracted her to the Namely team.
How did you end up in your role at Namely?
I actually was approached by former colleague who I had worked with in two of my previous roles. I had experience building processes and structuring programs around client support. I wasn’t proactively looking for a new opportunity, but I was very excited by Namely’s mission and culture. As I interviewed, it was so clear that every individual lived by a central set of values, and I could see what a bright, engaged, and collaborative team this would be. Since joining I’ve become even more impressed by the innovation and positivity I see from everyone on the team.
What’s your favorite thing about your role?
What I really enjoy is being able to collaborate. I work closely with stakeholders and leverage client feedback to determine where we have room for improvement. I love to do this work, and it gives me joy to solve these problems with my team.
Is there something that would surprise people about your job?
While it may sound overwhelming, my work is very logical. It involves taking a step back to look at the bigger picture to identify where there are opportunities for improvement. Everything we do impacts different stakeholders, so the hard part is actually just balancing priorities as we work to implement changes. However, it’s also important to remember that nothing is going to be perfect, so you have to introduce these changes incrementally.
If you weren’t in this role, what would you be doing?
Funny enough, this career path actually chose me. I fell into payroll, and didn’t know anything about it, but my boss knew I was capable and wanted me to learn it. In my retirement years, I’d love to donate my time to a local farm and spend my time taking care of animals and learning to plant and grow organic food.
What’s your favorite thing about working at Namely so far?
The people! There is are many opportunities to make Namely even better, but it can only be done by a great and passionate team. Lucky for us, Namely has just that.
Do you have any advice for someone who wants to do your job?
My advice would be to identify what you’re passionate about and follow that. What allowed me to be successful in my career was my domain expertise in payroll, paired with my ability to drive process improvement. Try to take on various skills across multiple disciplines, and once you find the thing that you love to do, work hard, and advancement opportunities naturally follow.
What’s something your coworkers don’t know about you?
I’m a huge ice hockey fan! I always went to American Hockey League games when I was younger, and both of my sons started playing when they were eight and nine. My youngest son is still on the ice hockey team at his college. I always root for the home team, so right now I’m supporting the Buffalo Sabres.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Family is very important to me, and I actually moved back to the Rochester area to be closer to my family. I have four great nieces and nephews, and I’m the aunt who gets down to play with them on the floor. I could just eat them up!
Who inspired you to get to this point in your career?
I was working as a temp in a corporate office when I was in college, and my boss had a huge impact on my career. I was only supposed to work at this company for one day, but my boss created a role for me where I backfilled four positions on the finance team when they needed help or went on PTO. This boss gave me endless opportunities in different areas across the company, even though I didn’t have any experience. As a result, I worked there for almost 20 years before moving to Raleigh and taking on a new role. His trust in me gave me the confidence to put myself out there and try new things.
Stay tuned for more from the Meet Namely series to learn how we put HR for humans into practice.