Bringing a new member onto the team is exciting. You want it to go well from day one. But it can also be stressful – for them and for you – particularly when you are introducing someone to a long-standing or tight-knit team. Luckily, there are some things you can do to smooth the way and ensure the excitement outweighs the stress and your new team member fits in beautifully.
- The first thing you can do happens before you even make the final decision on who to employ. Think about the candidates you have. Which one do you feel will fit in best with the existing team? Even if there might be a candidate with more experience, or better qualifications, it is sometimes more important to choose the person with the best attitude, the one you think will fit in with the team. If you’re not sure, ask one or two trusted team members to do an interview of the final couple of candidates, then have an open and honest conversation about their feelings. This will also help the existing team members to feel ownership of the new hire.
- Make sure their workspace and all the tools they will need to do their job are in place before the start date. Nothing says “Welcome” quite like a desk and working computer. On the other hand, “Find yourself and desk and call IT about a computer” clearly says the opposite.
3. If the new staff member is young, it’s their first job, or very early in their career, choose a buddy or mentor to be responsible for making sure they find their sea-legs. Depending on the level of the job this might be about showing them where everything is and who to go to for information, or it might be giving guidance on career development.
4. This might seem obvious, but a guided tour, including how the copier works, where to find stationery, your protocols around tea-room use and the phone system is essential on day one. Every office functions differently, and these seemingly small things can trip someone up and make them feel uncomfortable if they don’t know how things work.
5. Keep your door open, but also be proactive. As a manager, even if you have put a buddy or mentor in place, it falls to you to make sure your new hire is comfortable, and that your existing staff are happy with the way things are looking.
6. Provide opportunities for social time. Whether it be a team lunch where everyone can get together and get to know the new member, after work drinks or a team building event. Choose something that fits with the culture of the company. The important thing is the opportunity to get to know each other in a non-work environment.
7. Manage everyone’s expectations. Allow your new team member to settle in before burying them in big projects. Give them time and the opportunity to absorb the company culture with smaller tasks in the first few days or weeks. If your team has been running lean for a while it’s tempting for everyone who has been carrying the extra load to dump-and-run. It’s up to you as a manager to make sure this doesn’t happen.
8. Be careful not to give your existing team members the idea that this new person is more valuable than they are. If they are feeling threatened they won’t be welcoming. So ensure the they know this another team member, not someone coming in to show them how it’s done.
9. A small ‘Welcome to the Team’ gift can go a long way to making someone feel just that. Perhaps there’s a company mug, or hat you could give them? Or maybe it’s a small bunch of flowers, or box of chocolates. It doesn’t need to be expensive, it really is the thought that counts. And adding a small personal card will make it that little bit more special.
If you are looking for new staff, struggling with your recruitment strategy, or would like advice on finding, choosing and onboarding a new team member, Katz Recruitment can help. Give us a call on 0405 499 228 or Contact us.