“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” – Aristotle
Throughout my career, one of the most important phrases I’ve heard is that a company must “set people up for success.” While many people recognize that great companies are a result of great employees, we tend to dismiss what contributes to having great people. Sure, it’s important to have a great company culture, or to have excellent raw talent, but we also cannot dismiss the value of a strong training system.
Our team has had the pleasure of welcoming some new talent onboard, and we have made it our commitment to ensure that they are set up for success. Agency life can be like drinking from a fire hose, there is a lot to learn in a short span of time. While it’s great that many of our employees come ready and raring to jump in the deep end, we need to ensure that they have all the tools needed, not only to survive, but to thrive.
In my experience, introducing new hires to everyone in the office and outlining what their roles are has worked well to get them acquainted. We have also rolled out a new buddy system, which allows new employees to connect with other people in the office outside of their team. This system provides the opportunity for a different perspective, while alleviating some of the pressure to ask the “right” questions. Having someone employees can trust that they do not report directly to allows new hires to ask some of the sillier questions that they may be nervous to ask, like “Where is the bathroom?” or “How do you spell Person X’s last name?”
Training is also a great time saver. While it may require a lot of output in the beginning, it pays off in the long run. This reduces the risk of mistakes, and it empowers new employees to become confident in their work. Training also benefits existing team members by providing them with the opportunity for a refresher, or by solidifying their understanding by way of teaching.
As a company, we are learning and growing at an awesome rate, so we must always continue to extend those key learnings and growth areas to new members of our teams. Together, we can teach one another so much, which will continue to make us stronger as a whole. In the words of Isaac Newton, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.” Company-wide, we do our best to be the giants that our new hires stand on.