My alarm sounded, and I hopped out of bed with nervous excitement, tinged with some apprehension of my first day at Agility in Mind………that was me just over a month ago.
So, what is it like to be the newbie at Agility in Mind?
In advance of my first day, Michelle, business manager extraordinaire, sent me an Induction Checklist outlining everything we would cover on my first day. This immediately put me at ease as I knew exactly what to expect on my first day.
I arrived at the Coach House, the head office of Agility in Mind in Devizes, where I was welcomed by Ed Scotcher, COO. First things first, I was asked how I take my tea? When you join Agility in Mind they believe it is important they learn how fellow team members like to take their tea. Pretty important when you think about it and whilst only a small thing it immediately makes you feel welcome. What better way to get to know your new team members than over a cup of tea? Decaff with a splash of milk for me.
After introductions to all the team members in the office it was down to formalities. Actually, formalities is the wrong word, it was more like a friendly chat. I was introduced to the team on my first morning via a selfie and my favourite colour. Ed guided me through the Induction checklist, ensuring I had everything I needed to get started at Agility in Mind: from my tech kit, all set-up I might add, to their compelling mission statement and approach to business.
As per their mission statement, Agility in Mind is a consultancy helping clients to succeed by using agile principles and practices. I believe if you are going into clients’ businesses and showing them how they can use agile principles it is important you practice these principles and values in your own company: eat your own dog food, so to speak. Agility in Mind believes in just that. They are always looking for ways to continuously improve. To that end, on my first day as the newbie, I found myself becoming the new owner of the Induction checklist: “as the newest member of the team, we would like you to take ownership of the checklist and identify any ways it could be improved so our next new joiner has an even better experience”. How refreshing.
I almost forgot lunch. On your first day at Agility in Mind, anyone available in the office joins you for a Welcome Lunch. “Could we interest you in ham, egg and chips?” Now I know it wouldn’t be everyone’s choice, but I was excited by the prospect! The invitation bought back great memories of when I was working in the city, err x years ago, and we would head to “The Gun” in Spitalfields (sadly now closed) for Friday lunch. It was great getting to know some of my new team mates over lunch and the ham, egg and chips in Devizes didn’t disappoint.
Joining a team of agile coaches who are working in various different locations doesn’t make it easy to meet and get to know each other. I felt it was important to get out and meet the team, so I set about spending time with those of the team I could and scheduled calls with everyone else. The whole team have been so supportive, helping me settle in and feel part of the team.
What marked this out as a great experience for me?
Expectation setting before my first day – it was great to be contacted in advance and given an understanding of what my first couple of days would look like
Warm welcome– I know it seems small but being asked how you take your tea, being introduced to the team via a selfie and having a team lunch really made me feel like I was already part of the team
Induction checklist– I know many companies have some form of this but having a comprehensive list of information you need to do your job and knowing every newbie looks at how it can be improved so the next new person has an even better experience is really refreshing. With a few exceptions, which I have now added, it really did have everything I needed to get started.
Supportive team– everyone in the team has been really helpful, even though I haven’t been able to meet everyone face to face yet.
I really feel like I am part of an awesome team!