How to Help Your New Team Member Fit In

BY Kathy Crosett
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Who can blame a new employee for breezing into the office with a big list of ideas about how to change things up? You want new talent to compare and contrast how your organization conducts business with the way other companies operate. There’s always something new to learn. But, unless you specifically hired this individual to be a change agent in your organization, your new hire will need a little sensitivity training before she creates unnecessary drama with other employees.

The best way to handle these problems is to anticipate them and have a system for dealing with them. Marlene Chism, in a smartbrief​.com post, recommends tackling the issue during orientation. For example, most new employees are nervous when they start a new job. They’ll appreciate hearing from their manager or their HR rep about the kinds of personal conduct that leads to the most success in the organization.

Other new hires might be certain they know best about how to research and put together a white paper. Before they get an opportunity to start telling your existing team members what they are doing wrong, these new hires need to get the message. Of course, you appreciate their expertise and intelligence, but let them know that they should spend six months or a year fully understanding how the business operates. Only then, should they mention how they did things ‘before’ or ‘at their previous company.’

Chism also suggests having a system in place to handle ‘newbies’ who aren’t getting the message. Starting a new position is overwhelming for most people. They won’t remember all the little details they hear during an orientation session. To ensure their success, especially if they’re showing a tendency to constantly talk about their previous employer, set a follow-​up meeting. During this meeting, solicit her feedback about how she thinks her transition into the organization is going. Then offer your feedback. Cite specific examples about her positive contributions to the team and suggest ways she can change.

You’ve invested a lot to bring the employee on board. Do everything you can to make sure she feels like she can fit in.