Thoughts from a new starter

How often do you join a company only to find out that once you are in, they don’t fit with who you thought they were? A bit like finding an outfit you love, only to find out it doesn’t fit.

Frustrating, huh? Having been in this situation too many times before, I knew what I was looking for and I thought my expectations were just too high… that was until I joined Ivy House.

As someone who is passionate about vision and values, I knew that this was a part of the company culture that I was missing and wondered how many other people felt something similar. During some research I found that Rungway surveyed 2,000 UK employees on their attitude to work and the research showed that more than half (52%) of employees in the UK couldn’t recite their organisation’s vision, and nearly half (49%) couldn’t recite their organisation’s values.

That’s thousands of people who don’t appreciate their own company’s purpose – so how can they be channeling their efforts to the best effect? Interestingly, research also found that more than a quarter felt their organisation’s vision or values had too much corporate jargon and almost one in 5 say they don’t reflect what the company is actually like.

I could really relate to this in previous companies and I put my hands up that I have absolutely been in that percentage – I could tell you that they do a great banoffee pie at lunch time on Fridays, but I couldn’t recite their vision or values! And as a result, no one was truly living by them.

Ivy House caught my attention from the get-go. They were different. They were bold. Their marketing made a statement and they weren’t afraid to stand out (they weren’t another boring company!). From my research alone, I felt like I had a clear understanding of who they were and what they were wanting to achieve and throughout my ongoing interactions, they continued to align with my perception – the clarity and detail on the job description, the seamlessly run interview process, the open, honest and clear communication and the passion and sense of humour from their people. I really got the impression that everyone was completely aligned with the company and with each other too. The Ivy House message, brand and culture was coming across no matter where or how I had the contact.

How has it been joining the Ivy House team?

Joining a new team can be a daunting and nerve-wracking experience for any person however, I received such a warm and friendly welcome that at the end of my first week, I felt truly at home!

I am very grateful to have been able to meet everyone in person. As a team who are situated across the country, I do wonder how this may have differed virtually (not the incredibly friendly welcome) but meeting a new team and building a relationship over Teams isn’t quite the same – even if we have been doing it for two years now!

That being said, during my first week, I attended an Ivy House team day and development exercise – something that has been put in place to ensure there are touchpoints throughout the year for us to physically get together, to have fun and to learn. As a company who are open to learning (also reflected as one of their values), this was music to my ears. The focus was on uncovering your brilliance and the exercise included asking a handful of people who know us well and not so well “what shows up when I do?”. It provided an opportunity for me to really get to know my new team on a much deeper, more personal level and to understand where their brilliance lies and what others see in them. It was incredibly insightful and special to be a part of. It confirmed for me that I was in the right place, with the right people and I was blown away by the level of openness and vulnerability shown by every single team member in the room, and by the support that followed. It isn’t very often that everyone is fully on board with these kinds of exercises, so once again the Ivy House culture was shining through.

It has also provided me with an opportunity to continue to build on these new relationships, now back in our virtual environment and I hope that it has also allowed them to learn a little more about me and that they feel the same way too.

Has Ivy House met my expectations?

The first couple of months of a new job are important. It is a chance to embed yourself in the team and the culture, to experience the company on the inside rather than the outside (and it is usually when the cracks – whether big or small – start to appear!).

Now a month into my role, I took some time to reflect and ask myself, “is Ivy House what I expected?”

The answer… a big fat yes!

Why? They have got the company culture spot on.

Are they paying me to say that? No… I promise!

They are a group of talented people who love what they do and are completely aligned to the business. They wholeheartedly live by the vision and values (which are punchy and relatable) and they have a raw and honest culture, asking you to bring your whole self to work and be open to learning and to feedback, in a safe and comfortable environment. Their style is brave, their language is simple yet powerful and they want you to have fun. Most importantly they want to see you succeed, which in turn supports the business in succeeding.

Of course, there are some processes that could be reviewed and some changes to accommodate an ever growing team and the opportunities coming our way, however they recognise that and know that as humans, there are blind spots; we don’t always get it right first time. The key is taking ownership, failing forwards and finding a solution. All of which Ivy House embrace.

Not only are they putting game-changing leadership and life skills at the heart of organisations, but they are also putting game-changing leadership and life skills at the heart of Ivy House – and what a difference it makes.

I am thrilled to be a part of an extraordinary company and team, on a mission to change the world.

Want to know more about the Ivy House team and our mission?

By Charlotte Brown, Ivy House
4th May 2022

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