Sunday, May 15, 2011

"What I Wish My New Employee Knew" - Repost

The thing about hiring motivated, smart, creative young people is that motivated, smart, creative young people – while invaluable – can also be hard to manage sometimes.

I wish my new employee knew that we were genuinely psyched that they found us; that we were flattered by their interest and thrilled by their acceptance of our offer. (We tell them that, sure, but I worry it rings hollow sometimes.)

I wish my new employee knew that some clients are a-holes, and some clients are incredibly appreciative, but they must all be treated equally. That means that the level of effort can’t flag for the prickly client. That means that you shouldn’t use your water-cooler time to gossip or kvetch about the tough cases; it’s unhelpful and nothing good comes of it. (Along with this, it helps to know that the nice clients far outweigh the jerks, over time. Never let the turkeys get ya down.)

I wish my new employee knew that Quality Counts. A typo in an email might not seem like a big deal. But it doesn’t take long for the client to wonder if that sloppiness extends to the way the agency is cultivating their image to the outside world.

I wish my new employee knew that we absolutely and gladly fire clients who are truly abusive. We’re vigilant about this, but most new employees assume that the client is always right and stay quiet for too long.

I wish my new employee knew that when I say I’ve got an open-door policy, it means swing by anytime you have a question about anything. I don’t bite. It’s not hard for me to offer two cents: it’s my job. And I love my job.

I wish my new employee knew that the beginning part of a career is usually a slog. It’s not all Social Media fun & games, sorry. To be effective & accountable strategists, we need databases, research, detailed reports. That’s how everybody starts out, even the rockstars.

I wish my new employee knew that “eagerness is everything.” If you’re eager; if you’re leaning forward; motivated, I’ll lie on the train tracks for you. If you’ve got a dark cloud over your head, its shadow casts a pall over the entire office. That includes my office.

I wish my new employee knew that it’s all fun and games til you complain about working til 8 o’clock every night. Barring a huge project or crisis, we don’t want you working that late; it doesn’t impress us, it makes us question your efficiency. Following a string of late nights in our SF office, we began to require written permission from a manager if someone felt the need to work past 6:30pm. People began to leave on time. Productivity soared. So did morale.

I wish my new employee knew that it’s okay to screw-up sometimes. The sooner you tell your manager, the smaller the screw-up will look in retrospect. If you never fall down, how can you learn to pick yourself back up?

I could go on forever.

-Reposted from PR Squared