Don’t be late, don’t be late, don’t be late….first day thoughts as I sit in the usual (I’ve now discovered) horrendous traffic coming into Birmingham on Monday the 30th March, my first day at Curium Solutions.
Well, that’s blown it. I was trying to arrive for 9 and after traffic, parking, figuring out how to pay for my parking using a mobile app, walking in the opposite direction from the office for 5 minutes, then retracing my steps and eventually using google maps on my phone to find my way, I rolled in the door at 9.25.
I prepared myself for the apology (though I’d rung a few times to make sure they knew I was running late) and to feel the burning embarrassment of being tardy and disapproved of. Great first impression, I scolded myself internally.
Luckily, I have indeed chosen a great company to work for, there was nothing but genuine concern over my arduous journey, advice about ways to avoid the traffic, offers to get me tea/coffee and reassurances that we could start my induction as soon as I was ready. What a lovely bunch.
Thankfully, I’ve learned from my experience and have found ways to ensure that I don’t repeat my first day fails, I even know where the office is now! What resonated with me about that day was the fact that not only was I making my first impression on my colleagues, but they were making their first impression on me.
I spent the morning with James, understanding what my natural preferences are and how to flex and adapt them to the preferences of others to ensure a healthy and productive relationship. I learned about mindset and whole brain thinking, understanding how important it is to frame situations correctly internally to ensure that you are mentally prepared to reach the right outcomes when challenged.
I learned about our vision and what motivates us as a company. I learned “why” we exist and “how” we do what we do.
Later that day and the next I met with other colleagues. Lisa talks to me with excitement about our plans for the Curium Learning Academy, Emma is clearly passionate about the Operational Excellence part of the business, Nick is eager to welcome me and talks through Change Management explaining which projects I’m likely to get started on, Neil and Hamish get me set up on my laptop and into my systems while Lesley expertly covers the HR side of things. I go on a client visit to see our work in progress, experiencing first-hand the enthusiasm we’ve instilled in the HRG team and the amazing results we have helped them achieve, which they are clearly very proud of.
I’ve never experienced an induction process like this before, and I now realise that it was the best one I’ve ever had. I’ve worked for large and small companies alike and have been through everything from group induction on a large scale through to no induction at all. I’ve taken each start at a new business in my stride, and managed to get on and embed myself effectively each time, however it’s never been as easy as it was here.
This made me wonder….why?
The answer is obvious. This is not only a great collection of individuals who are each exceptional at what they do, they are also a well-bonded team. They are unified in their vision of what they want to achieve professionally, they understand each other’s natural preferences and styles and they use that awareness of themselves and each other to their advantage. Introducing new people to the team by explaining who they are and how they work together, as well as why they do things this way means that you can hit the ground running because you are immediately on the same page.
Skills are something each of us have because we’ve earned them through-out our careers and can carry them around as our “expertise”. Sure, we can develop them and learn new skills too, but the thing that sets Curium Solutions apart from the crowd is not “what” we do but “how” and “why” we do it.
I can’t wait to get stuck in with the “what” but I can safely say that I’m already proud to be part of the team.
I’m suitably impressed and looking forward to proving I belong!