How to Help Your New Team Member Fit In

by | 2 minute read

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 smart​brief​.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.

Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice Pres­i­dent of Research for Sales­Fu­el. She holds a Mas­ters in Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Ver­mont and over­sees a staff of researchers, writ­ers and con­tent providers for Sales­Fu­el. Pre­vi­ous­ly, she was co-owner of sev­er­al small busi­ness­es in the health care ser­vices sec­tor.