Company culture relies heavily on building a great team, but there’s always a chance that a new hire will miss the mark. So, how do you know when to provide your employee with
a second chance?
For Tim Lumley, it was worth the risk.
In 2012, Tim was a restless 19-year-old working in an IT job he hated.
“I liked connecting computers but couldn’t stand sitting all day.”
When he learned about Coolphase, the idea of becoming a refrigeration mechanic sounded much more appealing. So, he joined as an apprentice. But it wasn’t long before the cracks started to show.
“I was going through a real rough patch in my life. I would skip out on TAFE and didn’t apply myself. I was pretty young, pretty immature.”
Eventually, his apprenticeship was cancelled. It was clear to everyone, even him, that it wasn’t going to work out, and Tim was preparing to part ways with Coolphase.
“It’s not really a success story, is it? It was all failure, really, back then.”
Little did Tim know that this ‘failure’ would soon turn out to be the best thing for his career.
But, before firing him, Coolphase decided to take a chance on Tim and move him into an organisational warehouse role. Instead of studying theory at college and assisting with refrigeration servicing, he now was organising jobs, communicating with suppliers, and working on pricing.
“They offered me a spot, and I thought I’d give it a shot. They could have easily seen that I wasn’t gifted or inclined in this area and given up on me, but instead, they figured out, ‘what are you actually good at? What do you actually want to do?'”
Still, this was his last chance. All that there was left to do was cross our fingers and hope.
Thankfully, this fresh start was exactly what he needed.
“I worked a lot better in that role. I liked building relationships, and I could do that with the suppliers.”
Five years of diligent work later, Tim was ready to try something new. Luckily, Coolphase had an apprenticeship opportunity in sheet metal fabrication.
“I like the environment here. I’ve never wanted to leave, so I just went with the flow. That was up until the end of last year, and then I found sheet metal. I’ve enjoyed it so far. I like being on-site again and being out and about more. I like working with metal and uncovering a polished result. It’s cool to be a part of the process and produce a product I can be proud of.”
The Risk and Reward
The first part of Tim’s story is pretty standard. As discussed in our last blog, many apprentices don’t make it to the end of their traineeship, even within Coolphase. But sometimes, giving employees a second chance is worth the risk.
Now, Tim is thriving and a valuable asset to the team. Providing opportunities for growth and opting for flexibility before rejection soon prompted a change in his attitude and behaviour.
“I don’t know what would’ve happened if they hadn’t taken a chance on me, but I know it wouldn’t have been good. I’m very happy, very lucky, and very grateful to Coolphase.
This apprenticeship’s going to be different; I’m much more mature now. Because they were loyal to me, I’m loyal to them.”
Cheers for your service, Tim! Employees like you make Coolphase the awesome company it is.