Director Profile – Michelle Paluch

We hear time and again that people join our Squad for the culture. And it’s true, people are at the heart of what we do! The subject of our latest Director Profile is Michelle Paluch, who may just have one of the biggest hearts in our Squad.

As our Senior Director of People Operations, Michelle is all about making sure we’re focused on the people who make up ModSquad. “I like to remember that it’s called People Operations for a reason. We’re all people, and are all working towards the same goal. Empathy is at the heart of everything I try to do in my career.”

We caught up with Michelle to see exactly what makes her so passionate about the people at ModSquad, and why she loves working here.

Tell us about yourself. What was your background before coming to ModSquad? 

I’ve been in the human resources (or as ModSquad calls it, People Operations) field for at least 20 years. I started as an analyst in the pharma/life sciences field, focusing on operational excellence via Lean Six Sigma. It was this job where I realized that I loved working with people to facilitate change and bringing about new ways of working.

My analytical brain loved the process improvement and efficiency elements of the job, but my natural strength was in planning and managing programs that helped the employees do their jobs more effectively, and directly impact the bottom line. From there, I held many human resources, organizational development and change management positions for various companies, across various industries, including consulting and high tech.

Before coming to ModSquad, I co-led and contributed to several “Great Place To Work” submissions, allowing the company I worked for to win top global recognitions by both Fortune and the Great Place to Work Institute. These were all inspired by our people, their voices, and how the company was both listening and responding to them.

Tell us about joining ModSquad. 

I was hired on as the Sr. Director of People Operations a year and a half ago. However, that role does not look the same as it did when I started. ModSquad has grown rapidly and the scope of my role has adjusted with the needs of the business.

In People Operations, I strive to be the connecting point across all of ModSquad’s departments. We work to identify creative solutions that are efficient and effective, all while providing quality customer service to everyone at ModSquad. We tap into almost every department, in some way, shape, or form. It’s that dynamic that makes People Operations a pretty awesome place to work.

What are your primary responsibilities here? What is an average day like for you? 

My colleagues and I work closely with our stakeholder groups to strategize, review, plan, and execute important people and process initiatives. This includes everything from onboarding to offboarding, promotions to system/process changes, as well as coaching and mentoring our managers.

One or two times a week, I work across U.S., UK, and APAC hours to connect with everyone on my staff. Connection is everything for me. Providing a great atmosphere across the board and influencing how we work with each other, I believe, directly impacts how our Mods see and thrive in our business. Ultimately, every day is something different, and that’s something I really like!

What is your biggest accomplishment while being at ModSquad?

If I’m being honest, it’s the group of people we’ve assembled in our department.

As my role grew, and we hired more people to support the organization’s needs, my goal was to build a group that could not only be resilient and innovative, but responsive, collaborative, empowered, and empathic in how they deliver for ModSquad. And that’s exactly what they do. Together we are building out processes to drive change and are collaborating with leaders to accelerate new ways of working.

I’m honestly so grateful for them all. If something happens, personally or professionally, someone is always there to step up to the plate for their colleague. They are all compassionate, helpful, and hardworking individuals.

What do you think makes someone successful at ModSquad?

Remaining empathetic in spirit is the most important, in my opinion. Everyone has a heart. While we may have different perspectives, we all want to do the right thing together.  

As a new leader, understanding the details, taking time to listen and observe before you react is so incredibly important. The right method of communication, an open mind, global mindset, embracing new thoughts and ideas, and ultimately being resilient are keys to being successful at ModSquad. 

If someone was aiming to do what you do, what advice would you give them? 

Human resources isn’t for the faint of heart, because it takes a huge one to be successful in this area of business. Putting people first and thinking with both your heart and mind are absolutely necessary.

Listen and observe. Look at everything holistically, at the macro level, and don’t overlook the details at the micro level. Everything matters in this position. We’re working with and for people.

Finally, never stop learning. Once you learn the job, keep learning. Be creative in how you approach things. Creative thinking and creative solutions are the best things out there!

What sets ModSquad apart, in your opinion?

The people! I’ve never worked with a more passionate and fun group. Everyone cares and wants to do the right thing. They work hard and spend the extra time digging into the details rather than skimming the surface, which speaks to their work ethic and their love of the job.

Also, the opportunities are endless. ModSquad hasn’t stopped growing since I came here, and that is a great way to open doors to opportunities you might not have even thought about! ModSquad has given me the chance to build, create, and explore new ideas that contribute to the people who are helping grow our business.

Do you have any favorite memories or stories about your time at ModSquad? 

Last year, we had a virtual Halloween party where the whole team came dressed in costumes. Even though it was virtual, it was probably the most fun I’ve had at a Halloween party in a long time.

What else should we know about you?

I have two kids, a boy and a girl, and I’ve been married to the love of my life for almost 12 years. We recently started going to Topgolf every Sunday as a family, so in the future, we can travel and play golf together.

I also am a huge fan of live music and sports events. (Go Niners!) I hope to coach my daughter in volleyball someday and love being a baseball team mom for my son. 

Want to work with awesome people like Michelle? Check out our Careers page.

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Posted on September 6, 2022

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