OC employee of the year humbled by honor

Out of a desire to be more involved in the community, Lindsey Bryant, manager of human resources at Odessa College, went to work for the school and she hasn’t looked back since
Recently, Bryant, who is going into her eighth year on campus, was named employee of the year.
“I was taken back a little bit. I believe to work at OC is to love OC. I’m very fortunate to get to wake up every day and come to work and I feel like I have the opportunity to offer (people) their dream career every day. To me, that’s rewarding, so I do the things that that I’m supposed to do the best way that I can,” Bryant said.
Bryant graduated from Odessa College and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Texas Permian Basin. Currently, she is working on her master’s degree in management and leadership from Western Governors University.
Before arriving at OC, Bryant worked at Wells Fargo for about eight years.
“I knew I wanted to do something more community involved, so I started looking at Odessa College. I kept looking at the job description, then I would look at it and leave it and finally I would decide that I would go ahead and interview for it,” Bryant recalled.
“I filled out the application walked away from my desk and came back and Ken (Zartner, executive director of administration and human resources) had already called my cell phone, my office phone and everything, so I thought, ‘You know what? I think this could be the place for me,’” she added.
Zartner has nothing but praise for Bryant.
“I think there’s a tremendous amount of employees here that work extremely hard. I don’t want to undercut them at all, but she is an absolute workhorse, supporter of OC and one of the hardest working people I’ve ever been around,” Zartner said. “I’m very excited and happy for her. It’s well deserved. It was earned; it wasn’t given. I’m grateful that she’s part of our team and part of the HR department.”
Zartner said people are usually scared of a human resources department, but Bryant has been able to establish relationships and a rapport with people so they just want to come in and say hi.
“She’s a strong supporter of her colleagues, the students, the community — everywhere we possibly go her face is there, so it’s helped us establish a really good relationship with everybody across the board,” Zartner said.
In her job, Bryant handles a lot of the recruiting and bringing people on board.
To determine whether people be a good fit for OC, Bryant goes by personality vs. the resume.
“I feel like in my position, I get to talk to them from the beginning to the end. We first have an initial conversation to get to know each other on the phone. We talk about things. We talk about salary, benefits, things like that to make sure that it’s something right for them and right for us,” she said.
The interview committees have five people on them.
“We try to make sure that we have somebody from every division on our interview committees. … Depending on what position they have, they may do a demo so they’ll either do a teaching demo, or a writing demo, something like that to prove that they’re a good fit for that position. If they do well with that, they have a final interview with (OC President) Dr. (Gregory) Williams and that vice president.
It’s a tedious process, but I do truly believe that it works.”
She also manages the benefits and payroll process. Special events was just added, which includes events internally and for the press and public. A new person is is scheduled to start June 24 to handle that part of things.
“I also am a huge partner with the All-In program. Me and Robert (Rivas, chief of staff) work together to facilitate that,” Bryant said.
After every event a computer-generated number is read so people can participants can obtain their points.
“We also go through the process to determine what activities will be All-In events,” she said.
“We try to make it very student-related. Then we also make sure that it’s something that the entire campus can make it to,” Bryant added.
These are events Bryant really enjoys because she gets to see people outside of the work context and you get to see the students “do their thing.”
At the end of every eight weeks, there’s a celebration “where we eat lots of good food, we give out gifts cards we play games; those types of things,” Bryant added.
Each year, if you are in the top 25, you get a plaque.
“We’re very competitive. The last two years, I’ve been No. 1 and I really don’t plan on giving that up.”
Asked if she would try for the employee of the year recognition again because of that competitive streak, Bryant demurred.
“I think there are so many deserving people on campus that deserve that title that I wouldn’t do that. I think they could totally pass it off and give it to someone else. It was cool. I was excited when I did get the award. I looked out into the audience and I had a standing ovation. That felt good,” Bryant said.
Bryant actually handles the awards and the scripts so she was completely surprised by her recognition.
“They did really good. I was really surprised,” she said.
While Bryant said the HR office does a lot of amazing things, there is still room for improvement. They are moving their time sheets to an electronic format.
“We’re also going to overhaul our hiring system that we use. We’re refreshing that and upgrading that and then with that, there’s going to come a lot of different processes that we can do that we haven’t been able to do before like exit interviews and those types of things so that’s going to be fun,” Bryant said.
She added that there are lots of faculty positions open with OC’s enrollment increasing. There are also clerical positions and others open.
Bryant said she wants to thank her parents Marsann and John Bryant for the success she’s had.
“My mom and dad are the true example of work ethic and working hard until the job is done. I feel like they gave me the drive and motivation that I need to get anything done that I possibly have to get done, so I’m very proud of their accomplishments and I have to thank them for teaching the things that they’ve taught me,” Bryant said.
“Also just a huge shout out to the administration team of OC and Ken being part of that. I feel like they’ve made me grow one so many levels. I love the freedom that they give us to try new ideas, do different things and then if it doesn’t work we meet together to figure out how to do it different. I just really appreciate the encouragement that they give every day to move the employees as individuals and the college as a whole together in a positive (direction),” she added.