Q&A with AbsenceSoft’s Chief Customer Officer, Kelly Wells
We are showcasing some of the amazing team members that make AbsenceSoft a great place to work. This month, we sat down for a chat with Chief Customer Officer Kelly Wells to get to know more about her, her career journey, and her leadership style.
Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am first and foremost a mom. I have two wonderful teenagers, and it has been a joy to watch them grow into the people they are now. I am a Virginia native but have called Portland, Maine my home for over 20 years. I absolutely love to travel and explore new places, always looking for a good hike or mountain to climb. On my bucket list is to take a group trip through a travel company that builds the itinerary around supporting women-led businesses. This allows women travelers to feel safe while traveling, and also supports women in business around the world – it’s a great concept!
Why is AbsenceSoft such an important solution, especially now?
Employee experience is more important than ever. And managing leaves is more complex than ever. That is why a solution like AbsenceSoft is so needed in the workplace today. When someone goes out on a leave of absence, whether it is for a happy situation or a stressful one, it needs to be an easy and supportive process so they can focus on what’s most important, themselves. AbsenceSoft creates a way for companies to offer a leave experience that matches their company culture and makes it easier for HR to take care of employees.
What do you do as a Chief Customer Officer?
Above all, my biggest responsibility is making sure we have happy customers. To do this effectively, I have to support my teams and especially the leaders of those teams. I spend a good portion of my time meeting with individuals to make sure they have what they need to be successful and providing support where needed. Other than that, I consider my job to be a problem-solver and a storyteller. I need to understand what is going on throughout all aspects of my team and determine how we can improve to ultimately deliver the best service to our customers. I do spend a lot of time in meetings and making PowerPoints. I love this position though because of the people I get to interact with and because each day is a different challenge.
How would you describe your leadership style?
I focus on two things as a leader, coaching people and transformation. Helping other people succeed and grow in their roles and into new positions is the most rewarding part. It’s important that I help my team understand what success looks like and how to get there. I also know that as a leader, I have a job to do for the company and that often requires changing or improving the way things are done. Helping teams move through change with careful consideration for how it impacts them, and our customers is the exciting and often challenging part of leadership.
How did your career get started?
I was inspired by my dad, who bought me my first computer when I was 10, and also my high school programing teacher, who was a woman and someone I admired. It was because of them that I took an interest in computers at a young age. When choosing my major for college, I happened to be in my programming class and made the decision to go with computer science over teaching. The rest is history. After college, I began my career in programming, and a few years later landed my first role in the leave industry working as a business analyst. I love working in this space and have stuck with it ever since.