Meet Melissa Pease

2023/01 5 mins read


What brought you to Syapse?

The interview process was so fast. It only took two or three days which was awesome. I remember having an initial phone call and being excited about the role in part because I would be the first in-house People person. I was excited about the opportunity to work for a small company where I could have a big impact and build everything from the ground up. 

I might not have a medical background but I was still excited about the mission. Most people I know have been touched by cancer in some way which makes the mission incredibly motivating. 

You've been with the company for four years and you've seen a lot of change. What about the culture at Syapse has made us so resilient through all the transitions?

Two things come to mind. Change doesn't happen overnight. But we have done a great job of getting employees involved and empowering them to be culture movers and culture changers. We want employees to help shape the culture. For example, we have a Culture of Leadership group that champions and promotes our leadership principles. Our employees know that they make a difference and that creates greater buy-in and helps push our culture forward.  

We also found strength in transitioning to a remote-first company due to the pandemic. For some companies thist impacted their culture and retention strategy,r but for us, it actually helped us to become a more cohesive unit. We already had a substantial remote workforce outside of our office in San Francisco and Philadelphia, but since we are a small company, having all employees on the same playing field became a strength. It was no longer the SF office, the Philly office, and remote. We are now, simply, Syapse. 

What motivates you day-to-day?

I love my team. On top of the People team, I also love working with all of our employees. Relationships are extremely important to me. Work is also so much more enjoyable when you enjoy the people around you. Not only do I have great relationships with the employees here but everyone does great work. I can always rely on the people around me to get the job done and create something of quality. Having people around you that you can rely on makes the job so much more enjoyable. I also love that we have a culture of accountability and flexibility. We have built a level of trust that allows us to take personal time when needed and that is important to me in the workplace. If I need to go to an appointment, I am always able to do so because the people around me trust me to get my work done. Being trusted by your coworkers is incredibly empowering. And who doesn’t love great work-life balance?

What has surprised you most about Syapse?

Honestly, I was nervous about coming to Syapse having no medical/technical background in cancer care. When I first started, I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to succeed with no medical background. Also, since we have such a lean People team, I’ve been surprised at how much action has been taken and how much we have been able to influence and change for the company. Even when I was one of only two People Team members, I was surprised at how much support I had from around the company and how quickly we were able to take action. 

What are you most excited about in the upcoming year?

A few things. I'm excited to see the commercial growth this year. We have a lot of positive momentum going into 2023. I’m also excited for our People team to continue to improve the processes and programs that we already have. Building on our culture is exciting and important to me because it can really differentiate us from a lot of other companies. What we are working on is going to add a lot of value to our employees and our company culture. 

Happy 1-year anniversary of your promotion. How does Syapse support career development?

We provide a lot of resources to both managers and employees to begin the conversation about, what's next in your career? How do you want to grow? We keep that top of mind and make sure that it is a regular conversation. Managers are also empowered to take action and help support their employees. 

On the flip side, employees are also encouraged to lead the charge and be vocal about where they want to go next. People do not want to feel stuck in one place so we always try and find ways for people to learn and improve themselves.

How do you explain your job to your relatives?

As a People Business Partner, I partner with different areas of the business, working with managers/leaders on developing and supporting their teams. I focus on everything from engagement, hiring needs, employee relations, and generally, what's working and what's not. I also focus on making sure people are growing and that they are in the right place doing the right job to ensure the continued success of the business. 

On top of that, I also check in on how different areas of the business are working together. I partner with leaders across the business to develop growth and feedback programs. For example, we send out an employee engagement survey to gather feedback on how our employees feel about working here, what we are doing well and what needs improvement. We take that feedback and share it across teams and then make sure that we take action based on the results. We also have programs to develop our managers, career weeks with external workshops, and guest speakers. We are constantly trying to find new ways to keep our employees growing and evolving during their time at Syapse. 

Lightning Round!

If you could become an expert in anything instantly, what would it be?

Influence and leadership. In essence, how to be an effective leader.

Is there anything new you're learning? 

I’m learning Italian on Duolingo! 

Why Italian?

Well, of course, I love visiting Italy. I also have some distant relatives from Italy so, why not. 

If you could switch roles at Syapse for a day, what other job would you like to try?

Marketing or our commercial team. I actually received my degree in marketing so have always had an interest in that. As for the commercial team, I’m really curious about how they interact with our clients as well as our internal team. I find it fascinating. 

What is your favorite podcast you are listening to?

I always listen to the New York Times daily in the morning to keep me up to date. I’m also listening to one called, “Against the Odds”.