Adding new members to a team is full of emotion and opportunity. Here, we explore two perspectives on the topic: the leader's and the team member's.
As a leader, adding a new team member is an exciting and important time. It is an opportunity to revisit goals and achievements with your current team, while reiterating the vision and direction for the future.
Be strategic and open. Oftentimes, leaders do not take the time to fully prepare for the change. Here are three tips for a leader to keep in mind when on-boarding a new team member:
- Set clear expectations for success. There is nothing worse than feeling frustrated that you are not on the same page with what is needed and wanted from new team members. This is on you. Invest the time to write down expectations and describe what success looks like, so everyone can feel grounded.
- Celebrate the addition to your team. Whether this is having a small gathering or taking everyone to lunch, it is important to take a few moments and acknowledge the new member of the team. It is also a great way for the team to get to know the person more before digging into deliverables and timelines.
- Directly ask the new person how he or she would like to be supported. Do not leave this component up to chance. It is critical to open this dialogue to ensure that you can be the best advocate and supporter of this person's success.
As a team member it is important as you join your new team to have authentic, genuine and direct conversations with your new leader and colleagues.
It is an emotionally charged time and you want to put your best foot forward. Below are three tips to keep in mind when being on-boarded to a new team:
- Speak up. It’s understandable that, when you’re in a new situation with people you don’t really know, the instinct is to lay low. While there is something to be said for being a sponge, the company hired you for a reason – so show them why, from day one. Do you see an area where your new team can benefit from past experience? Bring that to the table.
- Take people up on their offers. Being the newbie is a constant exercise of asking the who, what, where, when and why’s of a team. So it can feel like you’re being a burden to take even more time from those you work with, even if they offer it to you. This is a mistake. If people are volunteering their knowledge or time, say yes. Those conversations build your understanding and connect you to your colleagues.
- Ask questions. As a new member of a team you’re walking into an already functioning ecosystem. Take the time to really learn why things are done the way they are and asking questions that mine for depth and clarity, this sets yourself up for success.
What is the hardest part of the on-boarding process for you?