Organizations often have a difficult time incorporating new contributors into tight-knit internal teams. Luckily, there are tried-and-true methods for overcoming the awkwardness that can pervade the orientation process.
If you’re struggling to integrate new team members, consider implementing some of these strategies:
Encourage new team members to adopt positive work habits so they don’t disturb their colleagues.
Currently, only 30 percent of American workers say they have at least one true friend in the workplace, according to data from Globoforce. Unfortunately, this trend doesn’t bode well for work groups, as members must maintain personal connections to maximize team effectiveness.
Try your hardest to beat these odds and give new contributors the time and tools they need to really connect with their coworkers. For instance, when someone new joins, send out an email outlining their work and personal interests, and have longtime team members do the same. These introductions will make integration easier and provide possible conversation topics for future social gatherings.
These post-work meetups are essential, according to U.S. News and World Report. They allow everyone to relax and break the ice. If you want to organize something during work hours, consider scheduling a fun team-building activity – something as simple as a group lunch will do.
Encourage Good Office Habits
New teammates with annoying workplace habits are often ostracized from the outset. This obviously hurts team output and usually sets the stage for attrition.
Address this off the bat by giving new contributors inside information on office behavior. For instance, if you keep an orderly kitchen, fill them in on unofficial cleaning and maintenance protocols, HubSpot suggested. Simple advice such as this will put them in the good graces of their co-workers and set the stage for positive workplace interactions.
Even the most talented new contributors must navigate the learning curves that come with joining a new organization or internal team. As a result, many struggle to make an impact right away. Of course, this doesn’t mean you must hold off on the praise.
“Make new team members feel appreciated by saying thanks.”
Make new team members feel appreciated by saying thanks when appropriate, Entrepreneur advised. Congratulate them when they pass significant orientation milestones or contribute to projects. This will encourage them to continue on and help them develop into high-level workers.
Once you’ve fully incorporated new contributors, consider evaluating the entire team to test its overall effectiveness. The Corporate Learning Institute’s Team Assess Survey is the perfect tool for such a task. The comprehensive evaluation addresses multiple subject areas, including team type, team output, team effectiveness, team leadership, team infrastructure, individual contributions and organizational support.