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 Vol. 1 issue #10 May 02, 2002


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How To Successfully Incorporate A New Member Into Your Team
© 2002 Kathi Graham-Leviss

Often times, adding a new employee to the mix can be difficult.
Even when hiring a person who is fully qualified to perform in the fashion you need, there will be an adjustment period.

Getting used to how things are done at your company - and getting used to communicating well with new people - takes time.
Learning what to expect from a new environment can be stressful for a new hire.  As a leader, there are specific actions you can take to ensure the transition is successful and a positive experience for everyone involved.

Be A Good Role Model

This sounds cliché, but in reality, it is vitally important.  The new hire will be looking for an example to follow.  That example should come from you.  Since showing makes a greater impression that telling, make a point to display the qualities of: responsibility, cooperation, and team unity.  This will demonstrate excellence, and provide a baseline of expected behavior for your new team member.

Communicate Effectively

Especially in the first month of employment, ensure that tasks are completely understood, are supervised (either directly or indirectly), and are accomplished with the expected results.  To do this, you will need several tools in your arsenal.

It is essential to clearly define the job responsibilities with a written job description.  This should include the expectations of the job.

In addition, you, as the manager, should not only understand your own behavioral style, but also that of your new hire.  This will help in numerous ways, including defining the motivational triggers of the new employee, and how the new employee likes to be managed based on his or her behavioral design.

For a short time, you might consider creating a checklist for each task.  As you cover each area of the project with your new hire, mark the item off your list.  Make a point to ask if the new employee has any questions regarding the tasks, what resources are available within the company to complete the project, and which departments might offer assistance.  Also, track how the communication is working and make adjustments when needed.



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Train People As A Team

When conducting training, incorporate the entire team.  Being a new employee creates an immediate damper on one's self-confidence.  When that new hire is singled out, the rift between "them" and "me" widens.  Everyone can use a review of company resources, expected protocol and policies and procedures.
Whenever possible, include all team members in training sessions.

Making Sound and Timely Decisions

Those new to your team will be dependant on you for knowledge, focus and clarity.  When managers waiver in their decision making, or when decisions are handed down with proper timing, it sends a message of confusion and lack of organization.  Before announcing your decisions on a given matter, take the time you need to ensure these decisions are both sound and timely.

With proper time and some guidance from you, your new hire will soon be flourishing in his/her position.  You'll find a productive member of your team that contributes, and helps to build a more valuable workplace for all on the team.

Kathi Graham-Leviss is Certified Coach and Behavioral Analyst who assists companies with defining and developing their Human Resource practices.  Visit her Web site today for additional information on the 4-Step Hiring Process and DISC Behavioral Assessments. http://www.xbcoaching.com

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