RENEW Strategies

Guest Blog: Orientation at RENEW

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Erin O'Connor
| February 23, 2018

GUEST BLOG:

This is a guest blog by Jeff Turi who is a member of the Impact Angel Network (IAN) and proud investor in many of the IAN's portfolio companies.

Over the years, I've worked at several companies and had many new assignments. Usually, the new employee orientation is handled by someone from HR and consists of going through a thick employee handbook which details all the rules - so you don't sue the company. After that, your manager shows you to your desk or office and then… not much else. At RENEW, the on-boarding process is completely different. Right from the beginning, you get an immersive, thorough and intimate understanding of the company.

In February, I had time available so decided to come to Addis. I have been an active member of the IAN for the past 5 years and have invested in many of the portfolio companies. I wanted to learn more about the company and work with the team for a month. WOW; right from the beginning I was impressed by the professionalism of the RENEW on-boarding process.

Everyone is Involved: My "orientation class" consisted of me, a financial analyst and a new driver who was hired by the group. Most people would be surprised that all of us would be receiving the same orientation. But within the RENEW culture, everyone plays a critical part in delivering a clean, polished and first-rate experience to all its partners.

Very Thorough: The on-boarding document was 65 slides long and was presented during 3 ½ hours over two days. The topics we covered included: The Big Picture, The Business, The Organization, and General Admin & Getting Started.

Strong Grounding: A critical element of RENEW's success is that all employees understand and live its key principles. Everyone can recite by heart the company's Vision, Mission, Values, and Strategy. Every Monday and Friday we start the weekly task meetings by going over these important statements.

Actively Engaging: The final section of the on-boarding process helps new employees hit the ground running from the start. Employees are introduced to the company's critical planning tools and its regular meetings. People get to understand the regular rhythms: how the annual plan links to quarterly, to monthly, to weekly, and importantly to daily tasks and meetings.

Reinforced: Just in case you thought that this on-boarding was just a "check the box" exercise, you're wrong. Making sure that everyone internalizes these ideas and behaviors is critical to success. So, a very difficult written test is administered one week after the orientation. Good thing I did some serious studying of the material!

It is pleasant to see "behind the curtain" to understand how the management processes at RENEW are professional and well ordered to help the company grow. How that translates into day-to-day activities is that any member of the team can clearly articulate who RENEW is, what the company's purpose is and how they want to help both local companies and the IAN. There is a clear sense of purpose and vision when they meet with company executives, they do their analysis and socialize with the regular stream of people that visit the office.

With too many organizations, the visions and values are just something that is on a poster on the wall that is read as part of an annual compliance exercise. In this case, it is part of the core structure of the company and is a milestone that is strived for each day by everyone who is a part of the organization from the CEO to the driver that shuttles you around on your Econ-Tourism trip visit. It is refreshing to see this and gives me, as an IAN investor, more comfort that we are partnered with the right organization in Ethiopia.

Jeff Turi, IAN member since 2013

To find out more about RENEW or the IAN, contact us at renew@renewstrategies.com, follow us on Twitter @RENEWLLC or find us on Instagram @impactangelnetwork. Be sure to check out our upcoming events, including the upcoming Econ-Tourism Trip September 23 - 29, 2018.