Michael Ardron has been at Computronix over 16 years and has spent most of those years working as an Account Manager; engaging with existing clients to build a relationship and help them to receive exceptional service from Computronix. Michael explains that one of the key factors in building this relationship is connecting with key stakeholders who are able to make long-term decisions and spearhead them through to completion.
Michael has also acted in a supervisory role several times throughout his career at Computronix and recently attended the Supervisor Training course. This provided him with a refresh on the key elements of what is expected of a supervisor at Computronix. His impression of the course is that “It’s really about making sure that supervisors are ‘tapped in’ to the culture of the company because we have a really unique culture here, unlike any other place I’ve been.”
That culture is something that Michael takes pride in being part of and in passing on to others as a supervisor. Because Computronix values people’s needs, the Supervisor Training course teaches future supervisors how to care for their teams, make sure they have meaningful work, and support them in their growth and development. There are topics covered such as: how to deal with confrontation, how to have difficult conversations, and how to connect with supervisees in the way that they can best respond to. But through it all, Michael says “we always come back to the core values of respect, trust and serve. These core values really resonated throughout the course.”
The importance of Computronix’s core values comes up over and over when talking to Michael. It’s clear that for him, respecting, trusting, and serving others is truly at the core of his job and at the core of how he interacts with his supervisees.
For our Computronix employee interviews, we sit down with people from all levels of our company and ask them about their jobs, and what it’s like working for Computronix.
Laura Fairchild had been a supervisor and a project manager at a few different tech companies before she joined Computronix. She says that after she was hired, her first major challenge was “to learn the project methodology here. Computronix just does things a little bit differently.” The challenge was quickly overcome by completing tasks during the course of her job. “The first time doing something was the most difficult, and everyone’s been very great and very helpful. It’s an extremely supportive environment for project managers,” she explains.
That care and helpfulness is something that Laura has come to expect from Computronix employees, and was apparent even in her first interview. Because there’s such an emphasis on thoughtfulness and care towards employees, she found that even though she’s worked as a supervisor for many years, there were still things she needed to learn about being a supervisor at Computronix.
Fortunately, Computronix offers a Supervisor Training course, which Laura was recently part of. She was able to learn the specific roles and requirements of a supervisor at Computronix. Specifically, how supervisors are expected to support their supervisees, “caring for them, challenging them and helping them to grow and develop.” One way that supervisors can do this that really stuck with Laura is to show appreciation for supervisees – both publicly and privately.
Laura recommends the Supervisor Training course to anyone at Computronix who wants a leadership position. As she puts it, “I think if you’re going to be a supervisor at CX, you have to take this course. Even if you’ve been a supervisor for 20 years, you can still learn from this training.”
Computronix has a strong emphasis on professional growth and development. Employees are encouraged and given opportunities to learn and become better at their jobs, and even to move into new positions if they so desire. One of the ways the company provides learning opportunities is through programs, courses and classes, such as the Supervisor Training course, or the recent Tech Lead Fast Track program. In the pilot Tech Lead Fast Track program, a group of employees were selected who were currently performing in a lead developer or an entry level tech lead role. The goal of the pilot launch was to help those employees in newly assigned technical leadership roles a firm foundation by learning more about the responsibilities of the position and how to become more effective at their jobs. Three of them – Craig Porter, Jacob Carnegie, and Kevin Nanson – were interviewed, so that we could understand how effective the program was, and how it made a difference for them.
There were a variety of classes and topics covered, taught by various senior employees and leaders. In Kevin’s words, he found it really helpful to “be educated by peers, by people who have actually had that kind of experience.” Craig agreed, saying that the variety of speakers meant that “you got to learn from a lot of people’s opinions or specialties,” creating a very all-encompassing education of the responsibilities of the Tech Lead position.
Both Craig and Jacob found that they really took to heart Dave den Otter’s explanation of the Tech Lead’s primary role, namely that they “Own the Solution.” This means that, more than anyone else, it is the Tech Lead’s responsibility to make sure that “when the solution is delivered to the client, it’s going to meet or even exceed their expectations and requirements,” as Jacob put it.
All three found that the program made them much more confident in their roles and responsibilities. The training “makes my job a lot easier. I’m not flailing, I’m not wondering what I’m doing, I actually know,” explained Kevin. Craig was working as a Tech Lead on his second project while taking the program and he found that “I didn’t question myself the second time. I had more self-confidence.”
These comments from Craig, Jacob, and Kevin are confirmation that this program is on track to help train and equip our next class of emerging tech leads beginning early 2017.