At EXP, we believe an environment that balances the needs of a team-oriented business with those of the individual produces the greatest level of job satisfaction for our employees. Our approach to cultivating and prioritizing continuous learning reflects this balance.
As a research-minded organization tackling complex and evolving challenges in service of our nation, we must be great innovators and excellent problem solvers. These attributes require our team members to possess a diverse and up-to-date mix of subject matter expertise, fluency with modern development tools, and intimate knowledge of emerging technologies.
To encourage their exploration, we give all employees the autonomy to guide their careers towards subjects and skills they would like to master, and we support them throughout the learning process by providing an individualized mix of formal, informal, and on-the-job training. Continuous learning allows employees to progress in ways that align with their personal interests and those of the business.
But having autonomy doesn’t mean career assistance isn’t needed along the way, whether by recommending new areas of exploration, identifying potential next steps in career growth, examining challenges and struggles, or gathering and clarifying performance feedback. To accommodate these needs, we created the role of the coach to guide and support employees through their careers.
Our coaches replace traditional line managers, who often lack a holistic picture of the relationship between an individual’s career goals, corporate strategy, and mutual success. Coaches serve as the front line of career support and professional development, and they have become essential elements of our culture at EXP.
Our coaches assume a host of responsibilities. They play an integral role in the employee onboarding process by answering questions about projects, personnel, or the business – paving the way for our new teammate to launch successfully. Coaches also advocate for employees and their career progression. As individuals strive to develop skills, coaches work with them to identify the resources and learning opportunities (such as the pursuit of an advanced degree, attending a conference or training class, self-study, or connecting and collaborating with internal subject matter experts) they need to achieve both short- and long-term objectives.
To be successful, coaches must understand the strengths, needs, and desires of those they coach. As employees’ interests and goals evolve, coaches help guide them toward relevant roles that offer the most impactful experience and opportunity, from recommending specific projects to challenging them to take on new responsibilities. Coaches regularly and proactively solicit (and reactively receive) input from the employee’s teammates and distill that information into actionable growth plans.
Everyone at EXP has a coach. New hires are assigned one based on their initial projects, but all other employees choose their own coach. Coach selections are performed annually, allowing employees to remain with their existing coach or pick a new one who better aligns with their changing needs and preferences.
At EXP, we understand a successful career path is rarely a linear progression in one dimension. Every employee’s journey will differ and probably change over time. And that’s not only fantastic, it is important for creating the dynamic and continuous learning environment we value. Our team of teams organizational structure lays the groundwork for a unique career progression. Our coaching program brings it to life, ensuring employees quickly adapt to our culture and receive support for their chosen path of professional growth.
Do you want to experience our unique culture and coaching program for yourself? If you’re ready to chart your own course, check out our openings and come talk to us. Thanks to some great coaching, our company is growing as quickly as our people.