By the time Gillette Stadium was up and running, my staff at the New England Patriots had grown to 40 people, and new staff members were joining the department at a rapid pace. I quickly realized that communicating with a larger group compared to a small core group of employees was a bit more complicated. So I began writing down aspects about the organization that I would want to know, and advice that would be helpful to new employees.
The fact of the matter is that when someone gets a new job in any industry or organization, there is so much “new” to absorb, that even if the company has a training program, it can be overwhelming and lacking in direction. Also, at times, because upper management clearly understands what they are trying to accomplish, they believe those ideas permeate throughout the organization with the same intent, but quite often they don’t. The larger the organization, the greater the distance is between its philosophy and its execution.
So as an employee, why leave it to the company you work for to ensure your success? Employees have to take it upon themselves to know what their employer wants from them and not just sit back and expect they will be told in a timely and comprehensive manner. Because of this, I mapped out four tips for new employees to empower themselves to navigate and understand their company and to create a solid relationship with their employer. Here are 4 guidelines to success as a new employee:
1) Understand the expectations of the people you work for. Your job description is a starting point, but it doesn’t fully capture what is expected of you. Ask questions of your direct supervisor to get a clearer picture. Know your individual short and long-term goals.
2) Know the philosophies and the goals of the organization you work for. So many employees stop at their own goals and job description and believe that is all that is necessary for success. WRONG! You must understand what the company is trying to accomplish and the manner in which they want to operate. In many companies, the details necessary to fully capture this information will have to be sought out; it is not just handed to you in one neat little package (even if you are trained and given this type of information).
Ask questions of your supervisor and other leaders within the organization to get a clear picture of its goals and, just as important, its overall philosophy on how to operate. Quite often, there is a disconnect between what upper management/leadership wants and how employees view what they want. This is due primarily to the chain of communication or lack thereof. As a new employee, it is your job to seek out the answers and not expect them to just come your way.
3) Over-deliver on expectations in accordance to the philosophy. Understanding your goals and the philosophy of the organization puts you in a better position to be a great employee. But to achieve great success, you must not only meet the expectations of those you work for, you must also exceed them. This is how you will get noticed and become relied upon. If you master this, you will move up the ranks of any company – most likely, quickly. Always set loftier goals for yourself than the organization expects of you. Hold yourself to a higher standard. This puts the control of your success in your own hands.
4) Once you accomplish 1, 2 & 3 (above) – Do not assume entitlement. There are a bunch of so-called “superstars” out there who believe that they can do no wrong, and because of that, change how they behave and approach the job with an elitist attitude. A sure-fire way to destroy all the equity you have built in an organization is to assume that because you have been an asset, that you are now entitled to privileges. You may have earned the respect and gratitude of the company, but you are entitled to nothing. Hopefully, you will be justly rewarded for your services. But if you feel you are not, take your skills and proper attitude to another organization that will. In any event, do not adopt the attitude that you “deserve” anything, because that way of thinking will erase all the good you have done up to that point. If you truly are all that you think you are, you will get what you deserve.
No matter what organization or person you work for, if you approach your job and career with these four guidelines in mind, and consistently deliver on them, you will be successful. Don’t rely on your employer to lead you to this outcome. You, and only you, are in control of your ultimate success.