Behind the Scenes of a Trussel Sprout's First Week
There are no better eyes to see the inner workings of Truss through than those of a shiny new Trussel Sprout. So we sat down with our newest delivery manager, Amy, to get her raw and unfiltered thoughts on her first week on the team.
Kaleigh: Let’s back it up a bit. Tell me what excited you most about joining the Truss team.
Amy: I realized during the job search process that I was looking for three things:
A company that cared about its employees and actually demonstrated it.
Teams that held each other accountable.
Individuals who valued the work they did and cared about delivering a high quality product.
I didn’t feel like those needs were really met in any of my previous roles. To be honest, I wasn’t sure I could find it anywhere. But then, going through the interview process at Truss, talking through the company’s values and hearing from a number of different people on the team how they’re applied to their daily work — I felt like I finally found a place that ticked off all the boxes. And I feel more strongly about that every day.
K: Were you nervous about anything before you started?
A: I had never worked on a fully distributed team before and I was worried I’d wake up at 9am, no one would be awake, and since I didn’t have my laptop yet, that I’d have nothing to do. So I reached out to my manager a few days in advance and asked if there was anything I needed to do ahead of time to prepare. He said, “You’ll have plenty of time to read documents. Enjoy your weekend.” It was such a great indication of a culture that respects people’s time.
You never quite know what to expect when it comes to a company’s onboarding process. Sometimes you’re thrown into the deep end without a swim noodle or even making sure I can swim. Truss armed me with floaties and was like, “I’m sure you’ll be fine.” It was empowering, like the company trusted me and that everyone on the team had value. You don’t always get that feeling from other places, but it seems like a given here.
K: Tell me about your first day. How did it go? How did you feel?
A: I’m on the east coast, so it was sort of quiet until west coast woke up. Then I entered Slack and all of a sudden, dozens of people from all over were saying “hi” and welcoming me in a flurry of emojis. I was immediately invited into all of these cute and fun Slack channels, particularly #emoji-annnouncements (where we announce new emoji additions) which I was sort of embarrassed about, but ended up loving.
I felt safe right off the bat, and part of that was due to the interview process, which was really thoughtful and full of kind people. I don’t know how to describe it other than I feel like I was plucked out of obscurity. Like I was doing a good job but not being recognized in my (then) current role, and then someone from Truss saw me from afar and was like, “We want that one.”
K: Like The Claw in Toy Story.
A: Yes! Exactly like that.
A: It honestly feels like everyone at Truss goes to therapy. Everyone knows and is aware of their quirks and how to work with one another. Everyone feels safe to share their vulnerabilities. We’d probably do really well in an escape room, barring anxiety issues. You could give anyone a puzzle or problem, and they’d enjoy figuring it out.
What it boils down to is I finally feel like I’m with my people. I didn’t know you could have a workplace you really love. I’m still in disbelief.
K: What was onboarding like?
A: Two things absolutely blew my mind: The Trussels Guide (our primary onboarding tool) and the TDR process (how we document internal decisions).
I texted everyone I knew and said, “There’s so much documentation!” Onboarding was so considerate. Guide ropes in every aspect imaginable.
On a project basis, people are so good at documenting things. Someone sent me a link and said, “Onboard yourself,” and I was actually able to because it was so well done. A real human centered approach to it. Not these stodgy, corporate guidelines that no one understands. Instead it was like, “Here’s how you’re probably feeling, and how to deal with it and what to do next.”
I also love Define Bot (a Slackbot that houses definitions for acronyms or other insider info). It’s such an easy and low lift thing. There are so many acronyms in projects and across the company, so this is a quick and easy way to create a communal library. I’m blown away by this feeling of crowdsourced information. It feels like there is this democracy of ideas and opinions, and it reinforces the values that I had coming in.
K: We had a stakeholders (quarterly business update) meeting your first week here. What was your impression of that?
A: It was mind-blowing. I experienced quarterly business updates at past companies, but some things about Truss’s stood out as being super unique. There is complete transparency around diversity and numbers. Most other companies will hide that and not share it, but at Truss, it’s a conversation piece: “Let us know if you have thoughts on how to improve this.”
The other thing that really stood out was when Mark (Founder and CTO) was talking about our value to “act without fear.” I realized in that moment that I had come from companies where there was a culture of fear. People did what they had to do to survive, but not what was right. Lots of places think that errors and mistakes are weaknesses. But at Truss, we acknowledge that no one’s perfect. People here aren’t afraid to make mistakes, because there is a culture of learning and constant improvement.
K: What was your favorite part of your first week?
A: Overall, just the feeling of being valued and trusted. The acknowledgement that they hired me for a reason. It’s super empowering. I’m really glad to be here.