Employee Spotlight: Leela Goodrobb, Employee Relations Manager

Synergent’s mission is to ‘help credit unions succeed and improve the financial lives of their members.’ In our monthly Employee Spotlight series, we feature one of our dedicated staff members to help you get to know the people who are working as an extension of your credit union team.

Leela Goodrobb

Credit unions are all about “People Helping People,” and that is exactly what Leela Goodrobb, Employee Relations Manager at Synergent, does every single day (and has for the last three and a half years).

“It’s hard to say what a ‘typical day in my role’ is, as things are always changing in my role,” explained Goodrobb. “But my days usually start with some backend work like helping people with benefits, individual payroll needs, and other personnel items. Then, I start working on some of the more administrative duties of my role, like dealing with vendor invoices, personnel files, and payroll items. Throughout the day, since I am in the office, I also really try to get out and about in the building to engage with employees and see if there are any needs that should be addressed.”

Goodrobb loves the daily interaction she has with employees, as well as the fact that her tasks and general day-to-day activities are always in flux. She appreciates that in this role, every day does not feel like the same thing over and over.

“When I first started, the majority of my role centered around recruiting efforts since we were hiring at a much higher volume at that time,” reflected Goodrobb. “Throughout my years here, I have taken on more of the employee engagement side of things, which is where I am happiest, as well as a lot of the of backend human resources side of things. The way my role has changed over the years has provided so many growth, learning, and development opportunities for me.”

Goodrobb detailed that she began her career in the human resources field when she took an administrative position with a recruiting company where a huge part of her job was handling the onboarding paperwork for new recruits. From there, she transitioned into a recruiting role, where she stayed for a while before deciding she wanted more of an employee-facing position instead of strictly handling the backend work. She searched for a job that encompassed all she was hoping to do day-to-day and eventually found her place at Synergent.

“I really love being able to help people and make people feel like they have a safe space to come and have their issues at work resolved,” assured Goodrobb. “I really enjoy working for a company of this size, as it allows me to connect with each employee. In my department, because we are so small, I really get to be involved in a variety of things, which ensures my job is always changing and interesting. I have also been provided the chance to learn and work with some great managers over the past few years.”

She feels she has learned a great deal in this role, as prior to joining the company her human resources experience was limited to onboarding paperwork. Although she has been able to transfer some of her experience and techniques from recruiting in her previous role to recruiting for Synergent, her skills have grown. Now, she has learned more behind-the-scenes functions of her department and can effectively deal with employee problems.

“In my past recruiting roles, once the employee was hired, that was the end of my involvement,” detailed Goodrobb. “Here, I get to take that employee through the whole new hire and onboarding process, and then watch the impact they make on the company.”

Human Resources acts as a backbone for a strong, effective workforce. At Synergent, the staff is equipped with the tools, care, and support they need to do their jobs well, thanks to Goodrobb and the rest of the small but mighty Human Resources department. By providing the employees with what they need to succeed, Synergent is able to supply its credit unions with what they need to strengthen and empower their members.

“While I don’t work directly with the credit unions, I would like to think my efforts trickle down to them,” explained Goodrobb. “Whether it’s the people that I recruit and hire, who do interact with the credit unions, or creating an environment in the office to the best of my ability that makes the employees who work with the credit unions on a daily basis want to stay and continue doing their job, I hope the work I do to support our staff has a positive impact on the credit unions we serve.”

Cultivating a Positive Company Culture

One of the many ways Goodrobb consistently demonstrates her assistance and encouragement for those working at Synergent is through the multiple employee events and gifts she organizes for the staff. From annual staff appreciation gifts and events to bringing the Beals on Wheels ice cream truck to the building throughout the hot summer days, Goodrobb is always thinking of new ways to make everyone feel valued. She said she is extremely proud to be in a position where she can show how much the company appreciates its employees and looks forward to every opportunity to do so.

In fact, this October, all Synergent staff will come together in-person for the first time since before the pandemic. Goodrobb has spent multiple months coordinating and planning a mandatory all-staff week, complete with a day of fun, to provide the chance to interact, engage, connect, and collaborate with one another outside of the virtual, hybrid environment the organization has been functioning in. Goodrobb orchestrated activities like axe throwing, food trucks, cornhole, a scavenger hunt, and even a special company-wide food drive in honor of the 75th anniversary of International Credit Union Day to benefit a food pantry in our headquartered city.

Goodrobb’s efforts are not overlooked by anyone at Synergent. She is a constant trusted resource for all employees, the organization, and subsequently, our credit union customers, all who greatly benefit from all she does day in and day out. When she is not at work, she is enjoying some well-deserved relaxation. She loves to spend time with her dogs, see her friends, and “try any of the many delicious restaurants available in Portland.” In the summertime, she likes to be at the beach as much as possible (every weekend)!