The Teammates who joined us in December just completed their online orientation course. This is our first formal, moderated online course, a modest step towards effectively becoming a learning organization. It is an early, albeit routine, attempt to adapt to the digital disruption (blockchains, anyone?) that will most certainly sweep our usual habitat (https://www.bna.com/changing-face-accountancy-n73014471252/) in the years to come.
As many of you have also taken the course, you may recall the extensive discussions on the Firm’s core values. For the eighty-eight Teammates who recently joined the RT&Co. family, the online orientation course was their introduction to the Firm, its policies, organization, history, and core values. Like your experience, there were quick checks between lessons to test their understanding of the materials presented. They breezed through these short quizzes. As a final requirement, the new Teammates were asked to submit a 500-word essay discussing their (1) initial impressions of the Firm, (2) career plans and aspirations, (3) motivations and values, and (4) thoughts on becoming a successful and ideal Teammate.
I asked for a compilation of essays hoping to have profound understanding of our new family members, and had the pleasure of going through some over the holidays. Quite a number were emphatic in their need to have a proper work-life balance, and see the Firm as the ideal environment for that. Many others were impressed with the Firm’s growth and want to be part of that too. There were poignant references to the need to support family, and to honor the hard work and sacrifices of parents. Teamwork and camaraderie were major factors for choosing the Firm. Many others were clear in their future directions and aspirations, like pursuing a law degree or other professional certifications. For them, continuous learning is an important motivation. They expressed understanding and appreciation of the Firm’s core values.
Reading through these essays reminds me of a deep and intense leadership responsibility, to provide the proper environment so that these young professionals will be able to reach their full potentials. Leaders after all are mentors and stewards. It may have been leisurely reading at best, but somewhere between the lines, I sensed enthusiasm and a longing for hope. I call upon all to listen to this call and do everything within one’s capability to help one another.
I just sent out an email about the story of a parachute packer, and how a downed pilot was saved by a parachute that worked as expected. This is not so much a story about how well that safety worker efficiently packed a single parachute, a task he must have done millions of times. It is also about the sincere and genuine appreciation by the pilot for such routine task. We should be the same as that worker and pilot. No task should be too small to be careless with, and nobody so lowly as not to be heard or appreciated.
Let us welcome the New Year with hope and better understanding of each other.