Join Todd Dewett for an in-depth discussion in this video Examining the new employee's role, part of Onboarding New Hires.
A lot of the burden for successful on-boarding falls on you and your team. However, the new hire certainly has the responsibility of helping out during their socialization by being the very best employee they can be. This might sound strange, but there are a few things you might want to share with the new person when they arrive. You can first spend time explaining what you're doing for them in terms of their initial schedule and various on-boarding meetings and activities, but following that with just a little talk about how they can facilitate the process can be useful as well.
Now, don't frame it as, "Hey, let me tell you how to be a good professional." Or, "Here's what you need to do to make sure things start off well for you." Instead, tell them the organization has been able to study the onboarding process over time and determine that many things they need to do and several things the new hire can do to increase the odds of successful on-boarding and long-term productivity. Not only will you be sharing a few useful behaviors with them, but you'll also be setting the tone. What this means is that your on-boarding efforts will not only show how pro-employee you are but will also make it clear that you have real expectations of them right from the start.
Okay, so here they are, four distinctive types of behaviors that tend to be associated with more successful on-boarding and employee integration. To explain each one I'll be addressing you as if you are the new employee. The first is seeking feedback. This is a proactive attempt to understand how your work is being viewed by relevant others. This is not about being overly neurotic at all. Think about your boss and maybe one key colleague. The first few times you complete some of your core tasks run it by one of them just to be sure you're all on the same page.
The second issue is role clarity. Use the feedback interactions to clarify the exact boundaries of your role if you have any ambiguity. You don't want to neglect something you're expected to do and you don't want to step on someone else's toes by completing work that's usually completed by them. Next is a focus on building relationships with members of the team. In many ways you become integrated to the extent you're getting to know your teammates. It only takes a few minutes here and there.
So, it's not excessive chatting about mundane topics. It's focused communication designed to get to know your colleagues just a little. I'll give you a tip. Look around their workspace, the photo of their children, the signed baseballs or the recent concert tickets on their bulletin board. All of them are great targets for conversation. Finally, it's also a good idea to proactively start networking outside of the group in your very first week. There might be brown bag lunches or many types of employee groups you might find interesting and useful.
So be sure to ask about these opportunities. All of these activities increase the odds that bonds are developed sooner than later. Just share these ideas with them in a friendly manner as things that are known to be associated with more successful employees. They're likely to adopt several. That means your new employee will quickly start planting roots. Soon enough the company will feel like their professional home, and you and the team will feel comfortably like their professional family.
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