Meet the Team: Laurie McNamara, HR Director

Kate Meda

Laurie McNamara serves as the HR Director at KORTX, where she plays a critical role in cultivating a workplace culture that encourages professional growth and values each team member’s contributions.

With a strong foundation in interpersonal skills and a passion for making a meaningful impact on employees’ lives, Laurie exemplifies the ideal HR leadership qualities. Under her leadership, KORTX has seen high levels of employee satisfaction and retention, reflecting her commitment to promoting a supportive environment.

Read more about Laurie, her role at KORTX, her strategies for fostering a positive workplace culture, and her secret party trick.

laurie mcnamara meet the team

How would you describe your role at KORTX?

I serve as the HR Director at KORTX, part of a two-person HR team, though we frequently collaborate with the finance department as a unified Business Operations (BizOps) Team.

As an HR Director, my role is like that of a backstage conductor, ensuring the company’s harmony. This includes overseeing recruitment, onboarding, payroll, benefits, compensation, training, performance management, event planning, IT, and facility management.

I also collaborate closely with the executive leadership team for organization-wide strategic planning. I focus on cultivating a workplace culture where each team member feels valued and supported in their professional growth. I am the go-to person for any workplace matters, and I push for accountability, all while keeping an eye on the big picture to align HR strategies with the company’s broader goals.

When did you join KORTX?

I joined KORTX in October 2018, when our office was located in downtown Royal Oak and we were a close-knit team of 17.

What do you love about KORTX?

There are two aspects I particularly love :

  1. Regardless of one’s role, there is a strong encouragement to learn about all aspects of the business, from digital advertising to balance sheets. As an HR professional, this has allowed me to acquire knowledge in digital advertising, finance, software engineering, and marketing, thanks to the wealth of information shared by our incredible team over the years.
  2. We have a lot of fun. There are not many days that go by where I am not laughing with the team, I really enjoy the people I work with, and they make my job easy.

What’s one significant challenge you face in HR, and how do you tackle it?

Balancing the demands of the business with nurturing employee engagement is a constant tightrope walk in HR. Encouraging employees to reach their fullest potential while maintaining a culture emphasizing employee engagement and work-life balance is important.

My approach involves seeking candidates who embody our core values, particularly “Do the Work.” I am often pretty candid with both employees as well as the executive team, serving as the voice of both the company and the employees.

What is your proudest moment in your role/what KORTX initiative are you most proud of?

My proudest achievement in this role has undoubtedly been navigating the challenges of COVID-19 and the Great Resignation.

Despite the turbulent times and a highly competitive job market, we succeeded in retaining our key employees. Boasting a 90% employee retention rate over the last five years and an Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) of 50, I am confident these figures are a testament to the strong culture we’ve cultivated here at KORTX.

What is an Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS)?
An eNPS assesses job satisfaction by measuring their readiness to recommend the company to others.
Anything between 10 and 20 is reasonable, 20 and 30 is good, and 40 to 50 is outstanding!

What’s a typical day like for you?

After addressing the usual emails and Slack messages, I prioritize my day by listing the “3 most important things I need to accomplish today.” These tasks vary widely, from tactical issues like establishing a local tax account for an out-of-state employee to reaching significant milestones in our strategic projects.

For instance, a recent major initiative involved working with managers to define Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for every role at KORTX. This effort is designed to enhance organizational accountability and offer clear direction for our employees.

What are your favorite things to do outside of work?

My husband and I enjoy watching our kids, Carter and Sadie, play multiple sports. Our schedule is pretty hectic, so when we finally get some free time, we like spending it in our neighborhood with family and friends. Our usual downtime involves ordering food, grabbing drinks, and just relaxing.

In the past year, I’ve taken up Orange Theory Fitness and am quite hooked on the competitive aspect!

What’s your best party trick?

I can walk across the room with my toes bent over–I am double-jointed in my feet!

➡️ More from the Biz Ops team:

➡️ More from our Meet the Team series:

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Kate Meda

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