HR Case Study

Case Study | Marbles Kids Museum | Namely

  • Industry
  • Location
    Raleigh, North Carolina
  • Size
    140+ Employees

About Marbles Kids Museum

Marbles Kids Museum is a non-profit that helps children imagine, discover, and learn through its interactive hands-on exhibits, daily educational programs, summer camps, and larger-than-life IMAX movies.

  • Marbles Kids Museum is located in Raleigh, North Carolina.
  • Last year, Marbles Kids Museum was awarded 1st Place for the Best Place for Family Fun by Midtown Magazine and named the #2 Most Visited Museum in Raleigh by TripAdvisor. Marbles also received the 2019 STEMmy Award for STEM Community-Serving Organization of the Year and the award for the 2019 Favorite Rainy Day Outing by Carolina Parent Magazine.
  • As one of the fastest growing children’s museums in the country, Marbles Kids Museum considers its team members its greatest resource. The non-profit’s staff, known as Team Marbles, is made up of creative employees and volunteers who strive to spark imagination and inspire children of all ages through play everyday. Since Marbles always puts its people first, the non-profit refers to HR as People Ops.
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Meet the Team

Lori Osborne, VP of People

Like many HR professionals, Lori “fell” into HR.

“I started out in recruiting, as many HR leaders do. Recruiting turned into employee relations, followed by a focus on benefits and wellness. Now as the VP of People at Marbles Kids Museum, I work in a space where I’m making a difference and giving back to the downtown Raleigh community. I always say: it’s hard to have a bad day at Marbles when you hear all the giggles and see all of the smiling faces.”

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Sam Plummer, People Operations Coordinator

Similar to Lori, Sam stumbled into HR and loves the creative side it brings out of her.

“When I came across the People Operations Coordinator position at Marbles Kids Museum a little over a year ago, I loved the fact that it would enable me to be creative and strategic. At Marbles, I have really enjoyed working on revamping our current People Ops processes, like our onboarding program. Going forward, I’m excited to continue branching out into other areas of People Ops, like employee engagement.”

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Marbles Kids Museum's Challenges

“We needed a paperless system that would streamline our People Ops processes and save us time.”

When Lori and Sam first started working at Marbles Kids Museum, the non-profit’s People Team had recently implemented Paylocity.

“Before they adopted Paylocity, Marbles’ People Team was using spreadsheets and paper,” Lori explained. “Although Paylocity was a step up from those manual processes, it became apparent very quickly to us that the system wasn’t implemented properly and had limited functionality. This created much more work for our People Team.”

“While Paylocity was a good payroll system, it was lacking in all other areas of People Ops,” Sam added. “For example, we wanted an intuitive platform for our employees to navigate, and Paylocity was not user-friendly at all.”

Marbles Kids Museum's Wishlist:

+ A Paperless Platform

After using manual processes, Marbles Kids Museum needed an automated, easily customizable HR platform.

“Since Paylocity was so limited in functionality, we still had to do a lot of paper processing and spreadsheet creation,” stated Lori.

“Not having a paperless system created a lot of extra work on our end as administrators,” Sam elaborated. “Paylocity had a lot of back-up paper files—which we knew wasn’t the most efficient way to work. The system was also not customizable, so we needed an automated HR platform that would be a good fit for our unique company needs.”

+ A Centralized Solution

“At the time, we were using a lot of disconnected processes—which made what should have been simple tasks very difficult,” Sam explained. “Not having all of our processes in one place created much more work for us.”

“We needed a solution that would streamline and simplify all of our People Ops processes, not just payroll,” Lori stated. “We knew that a centralized system would save us invaluable time.”

+ Helpful Customer Support

Marbles Kids Museum needed an HR partner that would support them.

“With Paylocity, the customer service team was unresponsive—which was especially frustrating because we were struggling with several parts of the platform and needed support,” Sam emphasized. “Whenever we had issues, it was difficult to follow up on them, and we never spoke to the same representative. After dealing with this team, we realized that we needed a partner who would collaborate with us and truly help us whenever we hit roadblocks.”

The Evaluation

The Search for a Streamlined HR System

“When I came to Marbles Kids Museum and witnessed the People Team’s struggles first hand, I made a promise to them that in 3 months, we’d have a completely paperless system,” Lori explained. “Since I’d used Namely’s HR platform at two other companies and had fantastic experiences, I kept comparing Paylocity to Namely. When a process in Paylocity took us 45 minutes to complete, I’d think about how it’d only take us 5 minutes to do in Namely. When we were struggling to get a hold of Paylocity’s support team, I’d compare it to Namely’s amazing customer service. Overall, I kept constantly saying to my team, ‘If we had Namely, all of our People Ops processes would be streamlined and simplified.

As we went through our evaluation process for a new solution, we asked ourselves, ‘If we could shoot for the stars, what would be the perfect HR system for us?’ Not surprisingly, Namely checked off all of our boxes. Once we officially decided to transition off of Paylocity, our People Team sat through one Namely demo and was sold.”

See how you can check all the boxes with Namely. Request a call today.

The Solution

The ROI of Using Namely

From it’s intuitive interface to it’s customization capabilities, Namely has helped Marbles Kids Museum take People Ops to the next level.

“Namely’s platform is engaging and interactive—which is on brand with our company culture.”

Enhanced Employee Experience

“For us, it was very important to have an HR system that was easy to use and reflected our company culture,” Lori expressed. “We love to have fun at Marbles and wanted our HR solution to feel just as warm and inviting as our culture does. Even though it’s an HR platform, Namely is so much more engaging than other systems.”

“With Paylocity, employee profiles weren’t interactive or customizable,” Sam added. “Since our company culture is all about having fun, we wanted to make sure that we could customize profiles and help employees get to know each other. Before using Namely, we used to send employees a separate form to fill out during onboarding to ask them fun questions, like what their favorite candy is. Now we build this questionnaire right into employees’ profiles. Through Namely, employees can easily look at each other’s answers and get to know one another more.”

“Namely’s employee profiles have also helped us make employee recognition more personal,” Lori elaborated. “As one example, if a supervisor wants to recognize an employee on their team in a meaningful way, they can view the employee’s profile, see what they listed as their favorite candy, and reward them for their hard work by sending them that treat.”

In addition to profiles, Marbles’ People Ops team loves how Namely’s news feed keeps their employees engaged and connected.

“We use the newsfeed to keep our employees in the loop, such as posting open enrollment announcements and museum events,” Lori explained. “As for our employees, they use the news feed to post appreciations and recognize one another. At Marbles, our recognition program is called the Scoops Program. Each of our Scoops is a different ice cream flavor, so it’s been really fun to see all the flavors popping up on the newsfeed. Employees can also easily view each others’ birthdays and work anniversaries on the newsfeed—which was not easy to view by anyone other than People Ops admin in Paylocity. Overall, Namely has enhanced our employees’ experience.”

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“Namely has truly been a great HR partner to our team at Marbles.”


“When you start to look for a new HR solution, evaluate your current processes by asking yourself what works well, which areas you’d like to improve, and what would ‘aiming for the stars’ look like if you had the perfect system,” Lori advised. “Once you review your list and evaluate each HR vendor, try to compromise your dream system as little as possible. Finally, talk to people who have used each system. These steps will help you decide which solution will be best for your organization. It’s the process that I’ve used, and it never fails! It’s how we landed with Namely, and the platform continues to exceed our expectations.”

“I also think that hearing client testimonials and speaking to HR professionals who have used the platform are important during the evaluation process,” Sam agreed. “This will give you more insight into the system. Overall, switching to Namely has significantly decreased our time spent doing administrative tasks. Now we have more time to focus on other initiatives, like employee engagement.”

Namely has enhanced Marbles Kids Museum’s employee experience. Ready to see how it can enhance yours? Take a platform tour today.