With the Great Resignation in full force, chances are your team has hired employees within the last couple months. It’s an exciting time to lead a team filled with new energy and opportunities for growth. Recent hires bring a fresh perspective to the team with their skills, talents, and prior learnings.
As any manager can tell you, building a team is hard work. Finding the right people and making sure they work well together takes time. And teams continually change as employees transition to other positions or leave for outside opportunities and new employees are brought in. Building a strong team is always a work in progress.
Luckily, there are some things you can do as a manager to help integrate new team members. Best of all, these methods can be used whether you are toiling side-by-side in the office or working remotely. Keep reading to discover three ways to successfully integrate a new member of your team.
1. Work Together to Map Out Their Career Goals
First off, it’s important to remember that your new employee is excited about this position at your company. After all, they wouldn’t have accepted your offer if it wasn’t something they were interested in! One of the first ways to help your new hire feel integrated is to work with them to map out their goals for the position. It’s important to work with them, not leave them to complete this task entirely on their own.
With a 30-60-90 day plan, you and your employee can create goals to work toward during their first three months on the job. Milestones or goals should be manageable, but also worthy of the individual’s past experiences and current role. This is beneficial to the employee because it gives them a clear idea of what is expected of them during their first 90 days.
This plan is a great onboarding tool for you as a manager as well. Having the various milestones laid out will help you identify the training and other resources the individual will need to meet their goals. Perhaps they will have to master a particular software tool to meet one milestone or complete an e-learning module to reach another. A 30-60-90 plan will enable you to provide these resources at the right times to set the individual up for success.
Lastly, this plan ensures everyone — from HR to the manager to the employee — is on the same page. It’s a beneficial tool for monitoring progress and helping further develop the new employee’s long-term skills. The plan can also encourage team bonding, as recent hires will need to reach out to teammates for information required to achieve their goals.
2. Assign an Onboarding Buddy
Remember the buddy system in kindergarten? Whether going to the water fountain or taking a bathroom break during lunchtime, each child was to be accompanied by a buddy. While you definitely shouldn’t treat your recent hire like a kindergartener, there are many advantages to assigning them an onboarding buddy.
An onboarding buddy is essentially a peer who can help the new employee get acclimated. This person is a current employee of the company and likely has been on the team for a while already. They can support the newbie in the first few months by answering those questions that don’t show up in the employee manual. These could be anything from “What’s a good lunch spot near the office?” to “How do I print from my computer?”
Typically, the new hire’s manager or an HR representative will pair them with a company buddy. It can be helpful for the buddy to be in another department so the new employee can get to know someone besides their internal teammates. As an ice-breaker, it can be nice for the buddy to take the new person to coffee or lunch on the company’s dime. This gesture can go a long way toward making the latter feel welcome.
3. Facilitate Meet-and-Greets
Meeting people is never easy, and this is especially true when getting to know employees at an unfamiliar company. Recent hires have a lot to figure out during their first few weeks. They need to set up their equipment, enroll in benefits, and settle into their role. As a manager, it can be beneficial to create a list of people the new employee should meet during their first few weeks.
This meet-and-greet list can encompass as many coworkers as you think is necessary. It can include company leaders, peers, and even members of your company’s employee resource groups, or ERGs. If your team is still working remotely, these meet-and-greets can help your employee meet everyone without being in the office. Such meetings can take place via Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or Slack calls.
Given your list, the new employee should take it into their own hands to schedule these meetings. This will provide them with a sense of ownership. These meetings should be informal and short in length. Their main purpose is simply to meet others and learn about what they do and how long they’ve been at the company.
Onboarding can be challenging, and yet it’s so important to an employee’s success at your company. The quicker the newbie feels supported and welcomed, the quicker they can start doing the job they were hired to do! By implementing these three tips, you can help facilitate a seamless and successful onboarding process.