During the evening following my third day of employment at NetApp, I had the pleasure of attending NetApp’s T.O.A.S.T. orientation program. I was seated at a table with fellow employees from around the country and around the world. My tablemates and I bonded while trying to absorb the deluge of information presented by NetApp executives. In my former life, I attended many company events and presentations, most of which lacked authenticity, transparency, and personality. The T.O.A.S.T. session was the complete opposite.
What Is T.O.A.S.T.?
The official description of T.O.A.S.T., NetApp’s “Training on All Special Things,” is a unique new-hire orientation program. New employees spend the day with CEO Tom Georgens and his leadership team and hear about our culture, values, business strategy, and history. Employees also have dinner with Tom and his team and engage in a Q&A session in which all questions are encouraged. Our leaders believe it is critical to our business success that employees hear from them directly and learn about what makes NetApp special.
My Experience at T.O.A.S.T.
Prior to joining NetApp, I was overwhelmed by (and a bit skeptical of) the number of accolades the company receives for its corporate culture. At T.O.A.S.T. it became clear that the consistent recognition of NetApp's culture is the real deal. Not only did each executive speak about the culture at NetApp, but he or she demonstrated it in presentations. It was clear to me that NetApp's culture is nurtured, cultivated, and supported not only by the employees but also by the entire executive team.
By the end of the evening my brain was overflowing with information about NetApp: the company's past, culture, operations, and future. I thank the executive team for taking the time (and having the endurance!) to speak to all of the new employees, no matter what their level or role. At the end of the night I was very happy with my decision to join NetApp and excited about the adventure ahead.