April Chamberlain was simply looking for a stable position when she joined Orkin at Rollins, Inc. as a Customer Service Specialist seven years ago. Little did she know she’d be advancing from her administrative role to not one or two but three management positions, thriving as a Branch Manager over the last two years.
Part of what’s made Chamberlain such an extraordinary leader at the company is her ability to hold team members accountable. “When you love your team and care about their best interest, you correct things right away because you don’t want your team to perform poorly,” she says. “Similarly, if the team does something well, we praise! It is important for the team to know you are proud of them and recognize their efforts.”
Chamberlain embraces transparency as part of her leadership style, she never expects perfection from her team. In fact, she regularly lets her team know “perfection does not exist! It is OK to ask for help and it is OK to receive help; we all need it at some point in time, even me.
Staying true to her promise of transparency, she recently shared with us her favorite mistake as well as insight into the Employee Assistance Program at Orkin (which is available to employees and their family members — even if they are not enrolled in benefits). Here’s what she had to say.
How long have you been with your company? What about it made you first want to join?
I have been with Orkin for seven and a half years. I actually joined Orkin in an administrative role that was Monday-Friday and had great hours! It was a great option for me at the time as I had just had my first child as was looking for something stable. At the time that I joined Orkin, I did not anticipate it turning into an amazing career opportunity, but I am very happy it did.
Tell me about the roles that you’ve held at your company, as well as your current one. What about this role most excites you?
I started with Orkin as a customer service specialist (CSS). From that role I transitioned into a route technician and from there into a service manager. I am currently a branch manager.
The most exciting part about being a branch manager is that I get to interact with my team from a place of true understanding having been someone who worked in each of their roles. It has helped to create trust and transparency with one another so we can communicate efficiently, effectively and genuinely.
What’s something you’re especially good at, at work?
Accountability. I am firm but fair with my team. I feel accountability is of the utmost importance. When you love your team and care about their best interest, you correct things right away because you don’t want your team to perform poorly — same as you would for your family member or child. You don’t allow repeat mistakes because you want them to improve and be the best they can be. Similarly, if the team does something well, we praise! It is important for the team to know you are proud of them and recognize their efforts.
What is your favorite mistake?
My favorite mistake was thinking that I had to know everything as soon as I was put in a new role. When I went from an admin position to a technician position, I thought I would look weak or make people think it was a mistake for me to be in the field if I asked questions, especially since there were some people who doubted that I could do it. I stressed myself out more than necessary and tried to do a lot on my own when I didn’t need to.
Once I realized that we are all on a journey and always learning, life became so much easier. I now carry that with me in every role I have and make sure my team knows, perfection does not exist! It is OK to ask for help and it is OK to receive help; we all need it at some point in time, even me.
What’s the first (and/or last) thing you do at work every day?
The first thing I do every day is greet all members of my team that are in the office. It is so important to run to the team before running to tasks. Work will always be there, and we have the day to get through it all. I don’t always get to see my technicians so it’s important to spend quality time with them in the morning when they are in the office and make sure they know that they come first.
The last thing I do every day is “check out” with my leadership team to make sure we are all good and to see if we need anything from one another and then we check out our technicians to make sure their day went well and they are ready to safely head home.
A lot of people believe that developing your career means changing companies, and not infrequently. What has enabled you to develop/advance your career without job hopping?
I have been able to develop and advance in Orkin because Orkin believes in developing their people. Our leadership development program is remarkable. We are given every opportunity to learn and advance from within and as long as we take up those opportunities; the sky's the limit.
From my admin role I was told there were opportunities to learn about being a technician and I was able to take courses via Purdue, Texas A&M and learn from live broadcasts from our own entomologists. I was also able to go in the field with our technicians. When I was interested in management I was able to go to our own Management Development School as well as take many leadership courses to learn to be the best leader possible for our teams. This company truly believes in their people and wants to promote and develop from within and they do everything they can for us to make that happen.
Ultimately, what has led you to stay at your company?
They care not only about me but also my family. Any ambitions I have had to grow within the company have been encouraged and they have invested in helping me reach my goals which inspires me to do the same for my team.
Not only that, every one of my leaders knows my family by name. They care about my husband and kids and I truly feel they would do anything they can for them as well. I never have to miss a family event, a baseball game or anything for my children. In turn, as a leader for my team, I make sure my team knows I will do the same for them.
What’s something you think most people (perhaps even current employees) don’t know about your company that you think they should?
We have an amazing Employee Assistance Program (EAP) that all employees have available to them and their family members, even if they are not enrolled in benefits. It provides our employees with many different forms of “help.” We have phone, in-person and marriage counseling. We have help for addictions of many kinds. We have financial counseling. We have elder and child care services. So many things that members of our teams need help with on a regular basis that are not always talked about at work, we can provide help for. It is such an incredible program.
Fairygodboss is proud to partner with Rollins, Inc. Find a job there today!