Get to know: Paulette Russell

Thursday, March 31, 2022

Paulette RussellPaulette Russell is a position and performance management consultant in the Human Resources Department. She has a passion for connecting with people and playing Dance Central with her children. Learn more about her work on campus and some advice she has for employees and their supervisors during performance appraisal time. 

How long have you been a member of Niner Nation?

For 10 years, 11 years on Sept. 6.

How would you describe your role and responsibilities? 

I am a position and performance management consultant. I consult with supervisors regarding position and performance actions. On the position side, I review and analyze positions to make sure they are classified and compensated correctly. On the performance side, I help to ensure the performance planning and appraisal policies are understood and implemented properly and timely. You have probably seen one of my nagging emails to please complete your outstanding performance action. 

What does your typical workday look like? 

Leading up to performance appraisal time, I am preparing the system to make sure all eligible employees are able to complete their performance actions. I also am the key point of contact to troubleshoot any system issues that may arise that could prevent this. My goal is to make sure this process runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible and everyone has an appraisal score reported to the state on time. No one should ever be ineligible to not receive a performance based benefit because a score isn't reported. 

What inspires you in your career? 

I’ve always enjoyed connecting with people and applying knowledge based solutions to situations. It is what drew me to human resources in the first place, initially as an employee relations representative where a lot of your job is listening and trying to come up with equitable solutions. No matter who the person is, there is always a different perspective that should be heard. Most things are not black and white, they’re gray. So being open to other points of view and circumstances is necessary for being a more empathetic, compassionate and inclusive human being and HR professional.

What do you like most about your job at UNC Charlotte? 

I’ve always liked the university setting since I worked as a student employee at Tulane University. It’s just the right pace, not too fast or slow, and allows you the opportunity to hone and advance your skills while still giving you enough holiday and vacation time to feel like you can have a life. 

What is your favorite place on campus? 

I like to walk around or sit down near Hechenbleikner Lake and just enjoy both nature and the light bustle of students walking toward the academic buildings. It’s just a quick stroll from my office in King Building and provides needed serenity after working for hours.

We are at the beginning of performance appraisal season with the deadline for self-appraisals for SHRA employees being Thursday, March 31, and the deadline for supervisor’s appraisals of SHRA employees being Sunday, May 1. What advice would you give employees and supervisors at this time?

Open communication is key to accurate performance appraisals. Reviewing the self-appraisals can give supervisors a better understanding of the employee’s performance this cycle from their perspective and has the opportunity to open up a dialogue for both the supervisor and employee to describe the employee’s performance from each’s point-of-view. This may result in a more objective appraisal.

You were recently named as one of eight recipients of the Janet B. Royster Memorial Scholarship. Can you tell us more about the award and your goals? 

The Janet B. Royster awards are scholarships that provide assistance towards earning a degree or other professional certification and development for employees in the UNC System. I was one of eight awarded this scholarship in the System. My goal is to gain the knowledge, skill and abilities to be a transformative Human Resources leader who can help to ensure the employment relationship is mutually beneficial for both the employer and the employee with professional development, employee engagement and recognition at the forefront of organizational planning. I believe a Master's of Science in Human Resources degree will help me to achieve this goal.

What is something you like to do in your spare time? 

One of my favorite pastimes is playing Dance Central with my kids, trivia, and board and card games. I can be really competitive, but I am a gracious loser.

What is the best piece of advice you have received? 

The older you get, the more you realize you can never be certain about how you would react in any situation. All you can do is your best at that moment.