By Maren Hogan:
(An open letter to my new employees)
Dear New Hire,
The saying, you never get a second chance to make a first impression is not really true at Red Branch Media. You can have stuff in your teeth or become exhausted reading the onboarding materials and we’ll understand. What you can’t do is slack off or wait for the learning to come to you. In this office, it’s all about jumping into the deep end and helping each other swim. Here are some additional pointers for your first few weeks at the Branch!
First things first. Get your desk organized, learn the office layout, and familiarize yourself with the supply closet. You’re going to need to get very comfortable so make yourself at home!In this office, it’s all about jumping into the deep end and helping each other swim. Check out @MarenHogan’s open letter to @RedBranch’s new employees: Click To Tweet
Relax, you’re not clueless, you’re just…NEW! By Jenny Crumrine on RBM
Secondly, here are some onboarding tips as they relate to our core values. Ready? Go!
- Grit. When you get knocked down at the Branch, you get back up and try harder. Simple as. Having trouble understanding Monday.com? There are 1000457439 tutorials online.
- Curiosity. Ask questions, but good ones and try NOT to ask the same question twice. Hot tip: If you can’t log in into G-Suite, Jeremy IS judging you…and the person who hired you.
- Ambition. Simply put, we want to be the best. If you work here, you need to want it too. When you’re handed your first assignment, treat it like the f**king honor it is.
- Accountability. Do something awesome? Take the praise. Do something boneheaded? Take the heat. Problem…meet solution.
- GTD. Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. Get things done, fail fast. Most of your new assignments will have a time limit attached. We really just want to see how far you get, so don’t ignore these.
- Due Credit. We’re all working hard, so are our clients. Make sure to always give credit where it’s due, both up and down the ladder. The folks training you and onboarding you are working hard because someone worked hard to train them. Make sure to thank them!
- Helpfulness. Being useful is HIGHLY underrated. Make “how can I help?” part of your lexicon. Things you can do on your first day that require no special skills: Can I grab that? Where can I find that for you? Would you like me to take notes? Can I grab anyone a water or coffee? Would you like me to wash these mugs?
- Balance. Balance means interspersing mundane tasks with exciting ones, devoted work time with light-hearted conversations, and taking a break when you know your brain is fried. We all work better when we’re balanced so don’t forget to take breaks.
- Honesty. We’re just transparent up in here. We don’t have time to sugarcoat critical thoughts or to backpedal to avoid hurt feelings. The upside? We’re ALSO honest about what a rockstar you are and encourage you to be honest with us as well! Tell your training team what you’re struggling with!
- Pursuit of Excellence. You can kickstart this process by asking what you can do better tomorrow.
Figure out your KPIs. Sure, ask me or one of the partners what success looks like in your role, but go farther. What does it look like from your colleagues’ perspectives? From the clients? From other departments? We’re highly deliverable driven here at Red Branch Media, so expect that if you’re “handing in” work, you’re doing something right!
Issues will keep. But relationships have to be nurtured. If your coworkers know they can trust and rely on you, the issues will be easier to work on together. It’s very easy to come into a company and see all the things that need to be fixed. However, curb that impulse for a day or two while you get to know your new coworkers!
Read ALL about it. I can always tell which new Branchers are going to be awesome and which will struggle. The difference is in the information they consume about their new work home. Read the blog, check out the newsletters, poke around in Hubspot, peruse the Google drive, look at your coworkers’ social media or published works, check out the books and magazines around the office, look at the website. You get it…the more you know, the more likely to you are to avoid potential misunderstandings. This goes for all our clients too!
Learn about your coworkers and teach them about you. Do you know that this social media creator models on the side or that analytics guy does parkour? Are you aware of the former soccer glory of the web project manager or the love for all things Japanese the designer has? If you don’t (and you don’t) make it your JOB to learn. Your life story will come out for sure (and be used as fodder for New Brancher Trivia, a time-honored tradition) but also focus on the life stories and interests of those around you.
Help me, help you. Create a mental file of how your boss and closest colleagues prefer to communicate. One may prefer an email they can read at their leisure, another might want a face-to-face conversation. Take note of your own communication preferences, because we’ll ask you 😉
Shrinking violets beware! While we won’t force introverts out in the open, we do want you to introduce yourself! Don’t wait for someone to introduce you to the best coworkers you’ll ever have. We’re a small office so it’s hard to avoid saying a quick hello or shaking someone’s hand.
Learn the lingo. Maybe it’s the fact that I’m a military brat, but at RBM, we LOVE our acronyms, short-codes, and distinctive lingo. Some are marketing-obvious like TOFU-MOFU-BOFU, some are client focused like KILT but some are straight Branch-invented like SBI. To learn the definition, please visit firstname.lastname@example.org Hear something you don’t understand. ASK US. Just not twice 🙂The saying, you never get a second chance to make a first impression is not really true at @RedBranch. Check out @MarenHogan’s thoughts on how to acclimate to Red Branch’s #CompanyCulture. Click To Tweet
What’s the plan Stan? We have goals for your job and goals for you personally, but we LOVE when new Branchers come armed with a 30-60-90 plan. While many recommend this for leaders only, we see no reason why every new employee shouldn’t have a plan for their professional and career development when they start at a new position. If you don’t have this plan in place by the 2-week mark, ask yourself why.
Make a list…but check it twice. You’ll see things you want to fix and we want you to want to fix those things (there’s nothing more valuable than a fresh pair of eyes, whether it’s a leader or an intern to shake up stagnant processes), but sometimes the fix is in process or the wonky process exists for a reason. Keep a running list of issues and concerns and keep going back to it. You might find or learn the answer in due time, be able to come up with a solution and present it at a meeting or ask the hard questions and effect change. It’s a win-win-win!
It’s (not) all about the Benjamins! At Red Branch Media though, it kinda is? We’re bootstrapped, so that means whatever we bring in is what we can pay out in salaries, tools, technologies, etc. And of course, as a business, we want to ensure there is a little bit of wiggle room there. So take a look at the numbers, do you see where we spend the absolute most by like 50x? (our people) Keep that in mind when you suggest new programs, initiatives, parties that seem fun (but cost 8k). When you see where we spend, you can understand better where our priorities lie.
Tackle a hard problem. If you’ve been through the hiring process at Red Branch, you probably have a pretty good idea of what the issues we’re facing are. If it’s something no one else has figured out, you win A LOT of brownie points for doing so. Show some backbone and solve something!
I’m sure there are a lot of other things you can think of that you need to do to make your time here at RBM a success. These are just mine, and they’re not small. But I wouldn’t have hired you if I didn’t think you could nail them to the WALL! Welcome.