Getting to Know Enboarder: a Q&A with our CPO Laura Lee Gentry
Meet Laura Lee Gentry! She’s Enboarder’s fearless Chief People Officer who joined our team in 2021. When she’s not busy empowering our internal team or being quoted in the news you can find her hiking, reading, cooking or working in her garden — she’s also known for throwing an incredible dinner party.
We sat down with Laura Lee to learn more about what makes her tick, how she approaches people operations and the music that drives her family crazy.
What made you want to join Enboarder?
“Oh my gosh — it was a natural fit here! I have a global finance and operations background (undergrad, MBA, and former COO) and I shifted over to talent management and executive search consulting mid-way through my career. Those experiences made me passionate about great leadership and cultures which led me to pursue leadership in talent management and ultimately, Chief People Officer (CPO) roles.
I’ve said for a long time that life is way too short to work for anything less than great leaders and when I met Brent the arrow struck home. The culture at Enboarder is truly special and I don’t want to just safeguard it as we grow but also use everyone’s strengths to make it even better over time.
The opportunity to join and support Enboarder’s business strategy, solution, and mission is phenomenal, and I want to help our entire team achieve all of our potential value. Because I’m the first CPO at Enboarder, I also joined with, essentially, a blank sheet of paper to build the human systems and processes right from the beginning to ensure we’re taking care of our people while giving them the chance to grow and develop their careers with us. Everything about Enboarder excites me!”
What’s the mission of the People team?
“My team’s mission is to cultivate an environment where our customers and people are empowered to achieve the greatest success possible. Whether that’s recruiting, developing or caring for our people, it all directly aligns with our business strategy because we cannot make anything happen without talented people who can authentically show up, collaborate, innovate and deliver.”
How do you approach mentoring relationships for your team?
“I’m a big proponent of mentorship and I mentor several people at any given time, both internally and externally. In my approach, I first invest a significant amount of time coaching and mentoring my direct reports on an ongoing basis. They, in turn, do the same for their teams.
We also have outside mentors who are focused on helping my team members achieve their career aspirations in specific ways. For example, a woman on my team aspires to be a Total Rewards VP who manages all of our compensation and benefits offerings at Enboarder. So I recruited a seasoned HR professional from my network who has that background to mentor her and help her achieve that goal. I’ll do the same for everyone on my team as their careers crystalize and evolve.”
What’s the biggest challenge facing Enboarder this year?
“While the pandemic isn’t officially over, I think navigating the post-pandemic culture, our return to work, and employee engagement are all top of mind for me right now. We have to get all three of those things right to preserve and enhance our culture, particularly as we grow and scale Enboarder.
We’re continuing to invest in our mid-level managers to make sure they’re the strongest leaders possible to support our people. We developed unique Leadership Development Programs, which was our first move in that area, but I’m always looking for ways to do more to support and invest in our people. I mentioned earlier that the Enboarder culture is truly special and I feel a personal sense of responsibility to nurture it. It’s not easy, and many companies don’t get it right, but it’s a worthy mission for us to be focused on.”
When was the last time you got to unplug?
During our last Enrichment Day — a unique Enboarder perk where we give our team an extra day off each quarter to enrich their lives — I went on a leisurely lunch date with my middle daughter. I’d been traveling a lot and had not seen her in several weeks. It was great one-on-one time with her on a beautiful day that gave us time to walk through a big park to get to the restaurant and talk about everything. It was wonderful!
As a leader, I’m passionate about working hard so that when I unplug I can fully unplug, and the same goes for the team. My usual activities when I’m unplugged involve getting outside and breaking a sweat.
What else should we know about you?
I love funk music and it drives my family crazy! When I’m not driving them crazy with funk, I love to settle in with a good book and recently finished “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus. The lead character is a smart, fearless, and quirky lady who just delighted me. There was also a fantastic dog in the story whom I loved.
Want to learn more about Laura Lee and opportunities to be part of the amazing Enboarder culture she’s nurturing? Get started by checking out our career page!