Merin Mani Is September Employee of the Month

Posted: September 4, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Ryann Doyle

Merin Mani
Merin Mani
Photo by Evan Cantwell

Name: Merin Mani

Position at Mason: Senior Payroll Specialist

Years at Mason: Two and a half years

What she does: Mani works in Human Resources and Payroll, where she is involved in the day-to-day operations of payroll. In addition, a major portion of her job includes customer service for the areas of payroll and leave.

What she did before working for Mason: She used to work in the finance department of Access National Bank, where she was also responsible for the payroll of the entire Access National Corporation.

What she likes most about her job: The most interesting aspect of her job has been the various interactions she has had with different Mason employees, varying from academic faculty to administrative personnel to student employees. Even though they all vary widely in their way of interaction, Mani feels there is a sense of comradeship, respect and a readiness to value others, which she believes are the core values of being part of the Mason academic community.

“In Mason in general and in our department in particular, you do not have to outsmart your co-worker to be the best, or hoard knowledge to have a competitive advantage over others,” explains Mani. “Here, each person reaches their best by sharing their knowledge and through working as a team. Knowledge sharing and valuing others are not fancy words that are thrown across the table in meetings, but they are key aspects of our work culture. I did not sense much of these in the corporate world. I think that is the beauty of working at Mason.”

Her best memory at Mason: “There are plenty, but let me sum it up in this way: there are many places you might dread going to work each morning, but here I come with a pleasant feeling looking forward to have an effective day serving my customers and my department and going home in the evening with a sense of accomplishment.”

What she does for fun: Spending time with her family, her husband and two daughters, is her favorite thing to do. “I also cherish my short vacations to India, where my parents live, whose values and principles are major influences in my life.”

Her greatest accomplishment: “Last spring I graduated with an MS in Organizational Development and Knowledge Management from the School of Public Policy.”

What others say about her:

“Any task given to Merin, no matter how challenging, is completed accurately and in a timely fashion. She always takes on additional work, especially the more complicated tasks. She is diligent and thorough in understanding the project she is given. When faced with a payroll issue, Merin takes the time to find an accurate way to solve the problem and makes sure to inform employees at that department. Merin has helped many of the employees catch and correct errors.”

—Mira Halilovic, payroll supervisor

“Merin exudes great customer service. When I need an answer from Payroll, she is always available and knowledgeable. She follows through on her promises and fixes any problem and concerns promptly. Merin is truly an asset to the Human Resources/Payroll department of Mason.”

—Robin Knies, administrative and human resources coordinator

“Merin is often the first point of contact for employees requesting assistance with payroll questions. She often encounters angry and confused people. She gives each employee her full attention and works with them to resolve their problem. Even if the outcome cannot be positive, she earns their respect through her professionalism and personal touch. Merin is a superior team player. She always has time to help out her colleagues and is eager to learn new skills. She has embraced becoming the office expert on deferred pay and is able to explain its intricacies to all employees. Merin is truly an asset to this [Payroll] office and Mason as a whole.”

—Shira Goodfellow, HRIS manager

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