Manager of the HR Service Center is honored for her customer service skills, leadership abilities, and determination to resolve issues promptly and pleasantly.
When the call went out for colleagues to provide input on nominating Karla Evans, MS, for the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s (UMB) Employee of the Month Award, the response was swift and the reviews were sparkling.
Six of Evans’ colleagues quickly supported the nomination via email, sending glowing testimonials. Karla is incredibly knowledgeable and has exceptional customer service skills. … She always has a beautiful smile and outstanding temperament when tackling difficult issues. … She is like the Energizer bunny, able to get myriad tasks done, questions answered, and service provided in a seemingly effortless fashion.
The kudos continued March 11, when 30-plus UMB employees attended a videoconference to surprise Evans, manager of the Human Resources Service Center (HRSC), with news that she had won the Employee of the Month Award for March. Jennifer Litchman, MA, senior vice president for external relations, congratulated Evans on behalf of UMB President Bruce E. Jarrell, MD, FACS, who usually presides over this event but was traveling and unable to attend.
“These ceremonies are an opportunity for us to showcase employees who really are living UMB’s core values,” Litchman said. “Karla was nominated by six people, which shows that her impact is far-ranging. It’s clear that her customer service skills are exemplary and she does her job with a smile. Karla, I can tell you without question that the leadership of UMB appreciates your efforts.”
Michele Ondra, MBA, MS, school administrator at the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law, who led the call for nomination feedback, followed Litchman and applauded Evans for using her patience and problem-solving skills while helping employees and HR colleagues.
“Karla really is an exceptional partner to the School of Law and every school at UMB,” Ondra said. “She just lets things roll off her back and isn’t judgmental with any last-minute requests. She is a fantastic resource for us and is incredibly deserving of this recognition.”
Juliet Dickerson, MS, interim associate vice president, Human Resource Services, and Evans’ supervisor, also was effusive in her praise, saying she “gets a voluminous amount of work done, and she does it with a smile on her face, joy in her spirit, and a real commitment to making UMB the best it can be in human resources.
“When I learned that Karla had been nominated for this award by six people, it warmed my heart,” Dickerson added. “She is someone who does not seek the limelight, quietly gets her work done, and is extremely committed to her job, so to see her get recognized like this means more than I can express in words. Karla and her team make our lives and our workplace better every day.”
Evans leads a three-person team that she describes as “small but mighty.” The team manages the input of employee records (IRS forms, visa renewals, job promotions and transfers, etc.), serves as the first point of contact for new hires, and oversees the onboarding process. Handling payroll issues is another major task, which includes processing job actions that directly assist with payroll data and bi-weekly paychecks, including cost-of-living adjustments and merit raises such as the ones that went into effect in January.
“Regarding payroll, anything we do that affects an employee’s pay, that is a big responsibility, so we strive to make sure we get it right,” Evans said. “We touch the job records for every employee at UMB, from the beginning of their employment to the end. I really enjoy that aspect of the job, because I’m a big people person and love being a part of an employee’s journey at UMB.
“For instance, when employees first get their ID badge, it’s great to see how motivated they are to do well in their new position. Sometimes they’ll ask us to take their photo as they hold up their new ID, and that’s exciting for us, too.”
Evans started working at UMB in 2011, first as an accounting associate and then an HR analyst with the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She joined UMB’s HR staff in 2017 as an HRSC analyst, was promoted to supervisor in 2018, and then manager in 2020. Last year, she earned a master’s degree in human resources management and services from University of Maryland Global Campus.
“My goal is to provide great customer service, to be customer-friendly in all aspects of my job, and to do it all efficiently,” said Evans, who will receive a plaque, a letter of commendation, and an extra $250 in her next paycheck for being named Employee of the Month.
“It feels really nice to have this acknowledgment from UMB,” she added. “I’d like to thank my team for its efforts and Juliet Dickerson for being a good leader. I learn a lot from her every day and appreciate the support she provides through the challenges we face. The whole HR staff is great. I’m grateful to have received this honor.”