…. it’s about you, or is it?
Working on ‘Special Projects’ is a difficult place to be – everyone thinks it’s not a real job! I found myself in this position when pregnant with my 3rd child. The Marketing Director at the time had accepted a position in APAC and was leaving imminently, so someone needed to manage things whilst a new one was hired. I had been in the business for many years and knew the marketing department well so I was not surprised when the GM asked me to me to step in and manage things. Everything was running smoothly right up to the point when he asked me to on-board the new Marketing Director as well.
A new Marketing Director was found from outside the business with a suitably impressive background. Speculation and excitement about what this meant to everyone was running riot across the department. Everyone was buzzing about the new guy and what he would be like and his expectations of everyone. For me this was very pertinent given my position.
“Would he appreciate the skills and experience I have when I came back from my mat leave? Would my face still fit?”
I needed to impress ….
I knew if I did a good job there was a much higher chance that there would be an appropriate role for me to come back to. Faced with this opportunity, and one where I had a huge vested interest in getting it right, I sat down and thought through what it takes to on-board someone effectively.
As anyone who knows me will tell you I like to go about things in a structured way. So, I set about developing an on-boarding plan that would ensure that the new Marketing Director would get exposure to everything he needed but at the same time would not be overwhelmed. The plan focused on three things:
- The Marketing Team – who they are, their skills, performance, challenges, skills gaps and open positions.
- The Marketing Plans – overall strategy, what’s working, what’s not, budgets and investments.
- The Key Stakeholders – who is who in the zoo and how best to work with them.
We spent several days going over each topic together. We explored what was working and areas for improvement. The most rewarding part of this experience was being able to see the business through fresh eyes and insights. He provided new energy and thinking with a depth and breadth of knowledge that was impressive to say the least.
Towards the end of the on-boarding program he kindly thanked me for my support. Personally I felt I gained more from him than he learnt from me!
Leaving for maternity I was excited about the birth of my next child and quietly confident I was leaving a Marketing Department in great hands. I must have done something right as I returned several months later to a new rewarding challenge.
If you would like to know more about our Marketing On-boarding and Mentoring Service may be of interest to you.
That’s my experience, please take a moment to share yours ….