We’ve all been in the position of starting a new role and having those first-day jitters. Even if you’re simply moving to a different team within the same company you’ve spent years at, it is nerve-wracking and intimidating to join a team that has pre-existing relationships.
How can you ensure that someone who joins your team feels welcomed and supported? There’s a few simple steps to take that make a hugely positive difference.
Send the new team member a calendar invite for a 30-60 minute conversation so you can better get to know one another. This private time allows for more in-depth relationship building and is a great supplement to broader team interactions.
Ideally, these meetings will happen in-person at a coffee shop or restaurant. Being together out of the office encourages more openness and is more casual than sitting in a conference room. If getting together in-person isn’t possible, hold the meeting over video so you can see one another.
Be sure to encourage everyone on the team to initiate these one-on-one conversations as well.
Oftentimes, the hardest part about joining a new team is picking up on the underlying cultural norms and team dynamics. New colleagues greatly appreciate honest perspective on what isn’t written in the employee handbook. For instance, what times is everyone typically working? How are vacation days handled? What are the communication style preferences of each person? How formal are people with one another? Being open and vulnerable, within reason, will create a bond between you and your new colleague. Of course, don’t use this as an opportunity to speak poorly about any teammates or say anything you wouldn’t want to be repeated.
If you have a meeting, call, or lunch coming up on your calendar that would be interesting or helpful for the new colleague to join, invite them! You’ll set them up for success by giving them exposure to all of the moving parts within the team. It can be challenging for someone in a new role to understand how their specific work fits into the bigger picture, so creating shadowing opportunities is extremely beneficial.
Ideally, each person on your team will allow the new teammate to shadow them. Broader exposure is most effective.
Every professional has goals they are aiming for. Maybe it’s gaining responsibility, becoming a manager, interacting with clients, or landing a big promotion. Take an interest in your colleague and ask them what their goals are. Then, brainstorm together how you can help them achieve their goals.
We all want to feel understood. Asking questions and conveying your support will excite your colleague about their future on their team and signal that they will benefit from professional growth and development in their new position.
Take a few steps to welcome a new colleague and integrate them into the existing dynamics of your team. This will increase the chances they want to stay on your team and it will ultimately allow them to start adding value more quickly.