Starting a new job is always a little scary. Not Pennywise-from-IT scary, but more like new-kid-on-the-first-day-of-school scary. I tend to get a little anxious because I’m hoping I make a good first impression on my new colleagues and office-mates. Is this the right shirt to wear? Should I introduce myself immediately or wait for the right moment? Will anyone be annoyed when I listen to doom metal at full blast in my headphones? (Don’t worry, I’m not that guy.) Listening habits aside, everyone has been the newbie at some point in their life. If you haven’t been yet, rest assured your time is coming.
I’ve been working at TMP as an Account Director for four months already, and if I had to sum up my experience so far, I’d say it’s been educational, encouraging, enthusiastic and engaging. Every day, I get to work alongside different channel teams that interact with one another in innovative ways. It’s been a lot of fun learning how each department functions not only in the Chicago office, but also across all global operations.
Based on my experience, here are some tips for other employers welcoming new employees.
Step 1: Train. Step 2: Train some more.
Starting at a new organization always involves some type of onboarding process, and I certainly experienced it at TMP as I learned about its product offerings, policies, procedures, and general recruitment best practices. It’s kind of amazing when you think back to everything you didn’t know when you started, and then how much you know now. It’s like night and day, really. The point I’m trying to make is: the training program really does make a big difference! And it’s not all just PowerPoint presentations and audio lessons. The Account Services team also does a great job connecting me with subject matter experts whom I can learn from and collaborate with.
During my first few weeks, I was able to attend training sessions with not only department leaders based here in Chicago, but thought leaders across TMP’s North American offices. During these meetings, I was fascinated to learn how TMP operates with cross-functional teams, which helps drive innovation, collaboration, and accountability. Understanding the transparency between teams helped establish my expectations for working across multiple departments on different client projects and requests.
The key here is to put some thought into all the things new employees need to learn, when they need to learn them, and who’s going to teach them.
The secret ingredient is people.
An organization can’t function without people, especially at TMP. My favorite part of the last four months at TMP has been getting to know all the people around me. There’s the client strategist who’s been here since before TalentBrew (our recruitment marketing software platform) even existed, has seen and experienced every possible account issue imaginable, and who’s always available to throw some Yoda-level wisdom about whatever challenge you’re facing. There’s also the content marketer who only recently finished college, but whose passion and enthusiasm for all things digital marketing is contagious. There’s the account director who’s always willing to step back a moment and look at the bigger picture and decide what’s most important and most valuable for the client. And there’s the creative manager that somehow knows exactly what it is you’re looking for in an infographic even though it’s hard for you to describe how it looks in your head.
These individuals really comprise what I think is TMP’s greatest resource: the people. I look around and see so many opportunities to learn from people who are at the height of their game on their respective teams. And on top of that, everyone is so nice that you never feel embarrassed to ask what you fear is a “dumb” question. I’m learning that there’s no such thing as dumb questions. There are just questions.
Just as raising a child takes a village, orienting a new employee takes a team. Make sure existing employees understand its importance and are recognized for their efforts.
“Do it for the culture.”
One of my favorite and highest regarded aspects of any company is the culture. What does TMP feel like? What color is its aura? What’s the vibe? TMP is very interesting because, to me, it’s a mash-up of several different things.
The intellectual caliber of the individuals working here is crazy high. Everyone is extremely smart and hardworking, and those traits are coupled with this sense of calm and peacefulness. I remember feeling like I could barely catch my breath at earlier points in my career, and with TMP being such a large company, I was expecting to experience at least a little bit of that earlier strife here. But I haven’t. I think it’s because people who work here have a different attitude and a different mindset to how they approach their work. I get the sense that everyone has faced whatever challenge they’re confronted with before, and there’s this ease in already knowing what the next action item is. It’s inspiring.
I’m also blown away at the compassion and the camaraderie I witness daily. Our department has an Applause Wall, which is our new tool to give one another shout-outs for great work. We’ve only just launched it, and there are already about 30 notes attached. Every quarter, we do a drawing with the notes and the person selected wins a gift card. It’s little initiatives like this that really highlight TMP’s values. It also doesn’t hurt that my team thrives at Happy Hour and has no problem letting things get a little turbo.
I’m fortunate that, even though it’s only been a few months, I feel like I’m acclimating well to the company. There’s so much to learn and be excited about. The people and the culture at TMP are pillars for the company’s employer brand and, thus far, both aspects are living up to the hype that attracted me in the first place.
Next in this series: Breaking down the role of the Account Services team at TMP.
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