The corporate communications team is responsible for sharing EXP’s stories and connecting with its audiences. As a growing and evolving team, they have redefined what it means to communicate effectively with over 3500+ team members, as well as clients, the public and each other. As award-winning storytellers, each is compelled by passion and training to carefully articulate EXP’s unique culture, one where entrepreneurial spirit, mentorship, togetherness and a commitment to clients and communities, is necessary for success.
When it comes time to onboard a new team member, immerse them into a dynamic culture and thrive, and do it remotely, we turn to the storytellers including EXP’s vice president of corporate communications, Emmanuelle Landry; senior translator and copy editor, Marie-Hélène Laneville; US communications manager, Nadia Abou; communications coordinator, Eileen Peters and translator, Martin Angers to share their experience.
When interviewing for the corporate communications team, you learned that you were joining a global company with 90+ offices and a bilingual team. What was your perception when hearing this and did it change your idea of the role and a traditional team dynamic?
Martin: It was exciting to know that I was going to work with people spread across North America and gain a variety of perspectives. It did not really change my idea of the role since, in translation, we are used to working as part of teams where cultures unite.
Eileen: Learning that the team was global, and bilingual allowed me to view the role as collaborative and multi-dimensional. Since my existing expectation was that I would be meeting my co-workers virtually, the idea of working with people in a different country didn’t seem as unfamiliar as it might have before working remotely. If anything, it was more exciting!
What about the interview process and onboarding signaled EXP had an environment where you could learn and grow?
Martin: It was the open mindedness that I felt from my interviewers, Emmanuelle and Marie-Hélène. Their authenticity allowed me to be myself, and we then discussed the team’s collaborative working style. I immediately felt that this team was synchronized, and I believe that’s a successful foundation for learning and growing.
Eileen: During the interview process, Nadia shared that entrepreneurial spirit is engrained in EXP’s work. This made me realize that there would be ample opportunities to learn and grow from the talented professionals I would be working with.
What role do you feel mentorship plays in your role as a translator?
Martin: This is my first experience working in translation, and it’s beneficial to work with Marie-Helene who is a certified translator and have her review my work and explain areas of improvement. She has been with EXP for almost ten years, and I feel that I have and will continue to learn a lot about the profession and the company by working with her.
Marie-Hélène: Translating is much more than putting words into another language and all translators know that what gets lost in translation can sometimes bring serious consequences, especially with technical, financial or legal documents. A little like engineering, translating is a process that involves considering and integrating several elements, and that leaves no room for ambiguity. Over my ten years at EXP, I had the opportunity to work with many experts from our different sectors and regions who walked me through what they do so that I could gain comprehensive and precise understanding of source texts and deliver accurate and quality translations. With Martin coming on board, I can now share that wealth of information, while also benefiting from the new fresh-out-of-university skills of a talented young translator. Mentorship is a two-way street on which we both learn, become better and look to the future.
How did you approach the hiring and onboarding in a remote context and as a new manager?
Nadia: As a new manager, I anticipated the hiring process to be complex without a global pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, there was an element that required additional consideration – thoughtfulness. When considering someone starting a new career at this time, I imagined it would be more stressful for them than it would be for me. For me, it was an opportunity to thrive in discomfort. We’re a company rooted in entrepreneurial spirit. When times are changing, we pivot our approach to succeed for our clients and team members. Therefore, my approach involved a similar style of preparing, planning and never forgetting what our leadership, Ivan Dvorak and Mark Dvorak have infused in all we do, ‘Stay nimble.’
What was important for you to teach someone during the process of becoming a manager?
Emmanuelle: My approach with Nadia wasn’t to teach her anything, but to guide her throughout the process. Sharing knowledge and experiences begins with transparent dialogue. That dialogue with Nadia was focused on finding the right fit. A strong team is composed of individuals who complement each other and have a solid teamwork mindset. Over the years, I worked with Nadia to foster a team mindset, so that she would keep that in mind when hiring.
What is the biggest challenge your team had to overcome to properly onboard new employees while working remotely?
Emmanuelle: Creating a virtual environment of collaboration for new hires so that they don’t feel isolated. The first week is crucial and we planned each day during the onboarding process to ensure a good experience for all. We worked as a team to mitigate this and highlight that regardless of location, we’re all here to support each other.
In changing times, nimbleness is key. The corporate communications team harnessed its agility and commitment to teamwork, to create a welcoming environment for new hires. Above all, a sustainable workforce depends on combining the right fit for individuals, fluid communication and creating that dynamic and welcoming environment from day one.
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*Originally published in EXP’s Expresso: Shaping Tomorrow