See what are employees have to say
In Washington, many networking conversations begin with the awkwardly personal question, “So, what do you do?” The most prolific answer to this happy hour question tends to be: “I provide solutions for a federal agency.” This was my stock answer during five years of providing physical security for a federal agency. The dryness of my tone translated the answer to, “I work to pay my bills and, like most professionals with green on their government badges, I desire to be with a company that genuinely values their employees as a team and as a family.” Nearly six months ago, I discovered that company when ATSG Corporation recruited me to be a part of their team.
The “I provide solutions for a federal agency” answer to the ubiquitous Washingtonian question did not change, but my tone has transformed. I noticed that I reply with deeper intonation and stronger confidence in the smile that accompanies obligatory eye contact. My brow lifts above the rim of my glasses; my posture rises as though a physician is measuring my height. In joining ATSG, I discovered a business that is a family and a team first and a business second. The ATSG leadership did not decide to empower employees because they read an article on LinkedIn about maximizing profits through collaborative models or consulting a third party on mandating team building exercises. Instead, ATSG’s leadership manage the Service Disabled Veteran- Owned Small Business (SDVOSB) with the values that President and CEO Pat McCollum developed in the 3rd Special Forces Group as a communications specialist and as a Combat Diver in Afghanistan and Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President, Stan Wood earned in twenty-five years of Emergency Management, National Disaster Preparedness, and as a service-disabled veteran of the United States Air Force. Trust, respect, honesty, integrity, accountability, and professionalism are core values that ATSG’s leadership brings to federal clients. These values, and a genuine, intrinsic sense of teamwork and family, located in the fabric of the company’s service –oriented foundation, applies to ATSG’s employees as well as their federal clients.
I was entry-level in IT and mobility when ATSG recruited me. My understanding of “ports” was limited to ship harbors and dessert wines. ATSG’s head of mobility alleviated my trepidation in lack of regimented IT experience: “I’m not interested in what you know; I am interested in how you learn.” He expressed the same sentiment to two of my former classmates from a graduate program in international conflict resolution. My two former classmates were also colleagues in providing physical security for a federal agency when our voices fell in answering Washington’s “What do you do?” question. Their on-boarding at ATSG preceded mine and I witnessed their transformations from entry-level novice to subject matter experts.
I viewed from the sidelines as ATSG invested, developed, and nurtured the career-path of my two former classmates and colleagues and I watched their ascent to a new professional plateau: happiness at the workplace. Their Monday through Friday happiness was contagious in weekend gatherings. I wanted in. I wanted the Kool-Aid. I wanted to learn from best Subject Matter Experts. I wanted to work with a federal agency that reported back to the company how pleased they were in our service. I wanted check-in calls from a project manager that emulated conversations with my friends and family. I wanted to be part of a team and family that would grow. I wanted transform my career like my former classmates and colleagues had transformed theirs. I wanted to answer the ever-present Beltway “What do you do?” question in a voice that tells the inquisitor, “You should join me. You’d love it there.” I wanted to be so invested in a team and family oriented company that I would no longer need to start a sentence with “I wanted.” When Pat and Stan said, “Welcome to ATSG”, I got what I wanted.
“I sure do like this company. You tried to tell me early on that ATSG was different, but frankly, I didn’t believe you. I didn’t believe that any contractor was capable of really caring for their folks or effectively managing their people in a positive way, but you guys have changed my opinion. I really, really like your company, and I want ya’ll to work for me for a long, long time.”
“It’s hard to find leadership at a company with so much integrity. Honestly the ability to sit down and have a conversation like that with my employer speaks much louder than any kind of pay rate or performance incentive.”
“ATSG is the best company I’ve ever worked for.”
“ATSG’s support and care for employees is better than any I’ve experienced, to include the military and government”.
“What a terrific and welcome surprise. Thank you. I’m coming up on my one-year anniversary with ATSG and have found ATSG’s home-office support to be the best of all my overseas missions. The responsiveness of your program and HR teams is particularly appreciated. I’m honored to be part of ATSG’s overseas family.”
“Sadly this is my last day on payroll with you all. I will miss working with you and I really appreciate all your kindness and helpful assistance in making my experience here at State a good one. ATSG is a top-notch organization and I have enjoyed my time with you.”
“I want to take a moment to thank all of the ATSG leadership past and present for being such good hearted, genuine professional people who really cared about the welfare and wellbeing of their employees. It has been an absolute pleasure working with you and your team (s) over the past several years. Thank you again for the opportunity to work for ATSG. I wish you and your staff all the best and I look forward to staying in touch with you.”
“As I head over to the dark side (Government), I must convey the absolute pleasure it has been to work with Luke. Travel and time has been a breeze and truly is one of the things I will miss about being a contractor. He is a hard worker, super eager, and very friendly. He is a fabulous liaison and representative of ATSG.”
“I am thankful and grateful to have a company like ATSG to work with and understand my situation, and so I thank you all so much!!!”