How does TPG find balance between the physical and virtual workspace, keeping in mind the planned growth of the company as well as employees?
Finding Balance While Growing the Business
After 29 years with TPG, Doreen Barnhouse certainly has the leadership and experience to facilitate the transition that we, along with every other company across the world, faced after a pandemic. But it hasn’t been simple. Due to constant change, pivots, and regulations – return to office, remote work, hybrid work, slow our growth, speed our growth, and on and on – a plan was needed.
Slow and Steady
“We took a conservative approach to return to work,” explains Barnhouse. When it was safe, she says, “we wanted people to want to be back in the office. But we won’t ever go back to full in-house capacity, so we’re leaning into a 50/50 model with adaptable furniture and technology in lieu of dedicated office spaces within our buildings.”
TPG focused on creating collaborative technology and spaces that feel good to be in while enabling easy partnership with co-workers and clients alike. “We created collaborative, informal spaces with the right technology to make meetings with colleagues and clients as seamless as possible,” she says. “We also provide healthy snacks and hold staff events, because we’re better in person, together. It enables a deeper professional experience.”
Having said that, Barnhouse acknowledges that TPG has been a remote-based company since the late 1990s, when we first opened another office. That growth has been intentional from the start. “We don’t want to grow too quickly, it doesn’t serve our customers.”
Finding the Right Fit
Whenever feasible, TPG promotes from within and creates career paths that can be followed and amended. “We actively find out who our employees are through DiSC Personality Assessments, the principles defined in Fierce Conversations, and finding their gifts for ‘their perfect job,’” she says.
Challenged by a tight labor market, TPG has nonetheless had great success in hiring people with matching values who can be “up-trained” to the open position. “We offer TPG University, SPARK, and Ignite as ways for people to learn about and reach toward positions within the organization.”
What’s Next in Operations?
TPG is on track to move our Renton, WA, offices into a new location in the Puget Sound region by October. The newly constructed Southport development on the south shore of Lake Washington will be modeled similarly to the Portland HQ offices with collaborative spaces and workstations, natural light and materials, and plenty of TPG branding. “We’re excited to be on the water and will lean into that beautiful Puget Sound aesthetic.” We expect to host an open house in early 2023; stay tuned.