Movers & Shakers Spotlight – Ellen Meister

From her nomination:

Ellen Meister has made great strides in bringing together the HR community at Colas to ensure engagement in developing a useful system not only for HR, but for managers and employees. She overcame challenges and hurdles in moving old processes and outdated systems to ColasWay.

Ellen Meister is the Senior HRIS Manager at Colas Inc., the corporate office of Colas USA. Ellen began her career at Colas Inc. as the HRIS Manager and was promoted to Senior HRIS Manager in July 2021.

Read more about Ellen Meister through the following spotlight.

Describe your role to someone who is not familiar with the construction industry or Colas USA.

My role was to implement SAP SuccessFactors in Colas USA, the Human Resources Information System (HRIS) that we branded as ColasWay. Now that we have been using the system for almost four years, I support the system and the Human Resources Departments as they use the system in their daily work. I also work very closely with Colas France (where the headquarters for our global Colas network is located) and Colas Canada as we work towards a global HR system.

What has been your favorite project so far?

My favorite project was implementing ColasWay (formerly known as Pathways). It was great to see our HR processes be more streamlined and create an HR system where all employees are maintained, as well as candidates/applicants.

What drew you to working within the construction industry?

It wasn’t the industry that drew me to Colas Inc., but rather the opportunity to implement SAP SuccessFactors for Colas USA was what I found enticing.

What motivates you to wake up and go to work every day?

There are many things that motivate me to come to work every day. I love the people I work with, have a great boss who supports me and the ColasWay initiative, and I truly love what I do. Every day is a different day, with different challenges — there is never a dull moment. Also, I really enjoy helping people and with ColasWay, I am always helping solve problems or issues. I also have had the chance to learn a lot of new things since taking on the role at Colas Inc.

What’s something most people don’t know about you?

I make jewelry for a hobby and just recently opened up an Etsy boutique with my daughter, Emma who is a Junior at The University of Delaware, majoring in Fashion Merchandising. We named the shop “A Chic Pair Boutique” since we consider ourselves a fashionable mother-daughter pair. We make all of our jewelry fully, and it’s been a fun experience for us to share together.

What is one recommendation you could make to help Colas USA operate better?

When I joined Colas Inc. almost five years ago, the Colas USA subsidiaries all had different HR processes, but each had the same end result. By implementing ColasWay I have seen a tremendous change to the way HR operates. We operate more efficiently when we work together in one system than we did before. By taking the best ideas from the subsidiaries and incorporating those ideas into ColasWay to have a well running HR system, processes are now streamlined. This is a great example of process improvement throughout our company.