It's now the norm for employees to change jobs regularly, so it's important to know how to properly integrate new members into your team. Integrating your new team member is very important, as not only does it improve retention, but it can also help employees adjust to a new corporate culture and feel more comfortable voicing concerns or contributing ideas.
For the existing team, if you do a poor job of integrating a new employee staff will be more likely distracted by the new team member asking questions while they try to get their bearings. This can result in your team resenting the new member or hinder inclusion.
A great onboarding process is vital to integrating new team members. If you have had issues in the past or have a new hire joining your team soon, consider trying some of the ideas below.
Prepare your team
A new personality with new capabilities and viewpoints will alter the dynamic of any group. You should communicate what this new person's role is and a little bit about them to get the team excited and ensure a warm welcome.
Make sure you give your team time to prepare, whether it's for training purposes, role allocation, changing desks, or simply getting used to changes in the office. A simple email or brief meeting to inform your staff, prior to the arrival of your new hire, is essential.
Organise the office
First impressions are important. Ensure you're organised and that your new team member is set up from day one. Depending on their role this could be as simple as organising a computer/laptop and desk space.
Many organisations now have complete welcome packs which can make a new team member feel valued too. Whatever your process is ensure you set time aside that day for the new team member to meet the whole team in a relaxed environment.
Assign a 'buddy'
One of the best ways for the new employee to find out all about the company is through a fellow staff member. Buddies provide guidance that goes beyond traditional training. The 'buddy' is an existing employee who guides the new employee through the first few weeks or months on the job.
You should include a formal documented process that outlines the buddies' responsibilities as well as what items they should cover over the first few weeks or months of employment.
The buddy system should also encourage staff to share with the new employee tips, tools, knowledge, and techniques they learned from previous work experiences. Make sure not to assign the new members manager as a buddy as this should be a more informal pairing.
Let new hires know who the stakeholders are
An org chart is a great way to illustrate your company's formal hierarchy, but it's equally important to spend time explaining the informal network.
Who are the go-to people, the people who know what's happening before it happens and potentially difficult employees your new hire should be aware of?
Keep them busy
A new starter's first week should be busy and pre-planned. Formal inductions are great and streamline the process for all new hires. If your company doesn't have an induction program, ensure you have sufficient work, training documents, company information and socialising potential for your new team member throughout their start period.
The goal of a good onboarding is to properly integrate your new team member into the company. They should feel comfortable within the company culture, know how the organisation works and have clear goals for their career in the company.
Onboarding processes will differ from person to person. For example, a more senior hire will need different onboarding than a new grad and vice versa. The results, however, should be the same.
Integrating new staff members can be costly and time-consuming, but if done correctly it will save time and money in the longer term.