When Laura Lynn Smith isn’t connecting with her associates or mentoring women at ADP, she’s serving on educational and community boards and baking fun birthday cakes for her kids. A working mother, VP and General Manager at the HR management company, Smith says her leadership style helps her “serve the needs of her clients and develop a culture of high performance, innovation and inclusivity.” It’s also helped her build a long-standing career at the company.
Since starting with ADP in 1994, Smith has had a very successful career as a woman in leadership. According to her, “women thrive at ADP” in general. “There is an appreciation for the value that women bring and their contributions to the success of our organization,” she said.
In addition to her leadership roles, Smith also mentors women, a responsibility she takes very seriously. “I have enjoyed mentoring women at ADP and in my personal life, both in formal mentor roles and in informal, casual connections,” she said. “As with anything important in your life, you find the time to make it happen.”
We recently spoke with Smith about her leadership style, her long-standing career at ADP, and her advice for job seekers in early or late stages in their career. Check out what she had to say below.
How long have you been in your current role, and what were you doing previously?
I have been at ADP for 25 years. I’ve been in my current role as GM of our location in Tempe for two years. Previously, I led Implementation teams for our Major Accounts and Small Business Services divisions. Prior to Implementation, I held several leadership roles in Sales.
What’s the first (and/or last) thing you do at work every day?
Connect with our associates to see how their week is going or how their day ended up.
How do you prioritize and deal with your to-do list each day?
At work, I prioritize conversations or meetings with leaders and associates over emails. I like to tackle the big things first knowing there are opportunities during the day to take action on or follow up on the quick items.
How would you describe your leadership style?
Transformational and servant leadership are ones that I incorporate into my style. I believe it is important to serve the needs of our associates and clients by developing a culture of high performance, innovation and inclusivity.
What’s one thing you think young job seekers should know about your company? What about those who are in a more advanced career stage?
ADP is a great place to work — for any generation. We have a fun and engaging culture with growth and leadership opportunities in a diverse working environment.
How have you used your role to help bring up other women behind you? How do you build time into your schedule for this kind of work?
Mentoring is really important to me. I have enjoyed mentoring women at ADP and in my personal life both in formal mentor roles and in informal, casual connections. As with anything important in your life, you find the time to make it happen.
What’s something you’re especially good at work?
Communication, goal setting, mentorship and building relationships.
What about outside of work?
In addition to serving on several educational and community boards, I enjoy baking and have made some fun birthday cakes for my kids, including a jellyfish cake.
What are you trying to improve on?
What are the top three qualities you look for when you’re interviewing a candidate?
Someone with a strong work ethic and positive attitude, and who is adaptable.
Why do you think your company is a particularly supportive work environment for women?
Women thrive at ADP. There is an appreciation for the value that women bring and their contributions to the success of our organization. I am proud to be a part of an amazing team at ADP.
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