Joining the Team

At home, work or on an actual sports team, working as a team provides opportunities for learning a variety of people and relationship skills. One of those skills is to pay attention to and remember that when a new person becomes part of a group or team they typically have mixed emotions. On one hand there is excitement regarding newness and at the same time there are unknowns that raise questions, concerns and fears. So, when an individual joins your team, create ways to give care, support and special attention to the experience of assimilation.

Welcoming, orientation and support: Make a big deal of the arrival of the new team member. Prepare the new hire’s office or workspace in special ways. Start by making sure their space is clean, comfortable and inviting. A welcome sign, a plant or flowers give the message, “We are glad you are here.” On the first day, have a brief welcome gathering with the entire team to introduce the new team member.

Be thorough with your orientation. Have a plan for the first few weeks to systematically cover the areas of your facility, products and the functional groups of your organization. Walk them through all of the customer contact points of how your business works.

Create support activities and systems. Here are some examples:

Have a brief meeting at the beginning and/or end of the day of the first two weeks to check signals and give supportive direction.

Designate one or two folks to be a buddy or mentor for the first month.

Be available and create your own unique way to take time to listen and hear their questions, concerns and ideas.

A 90-day plan of coaching and training, and a 360 degree” evaluation: Have a plan and process to provide specific information, resources and educational opportunities during the first 90 days. Ask how things are going. Adequate and personalized coaching, training and evaluation are critical during this time. “The Big Book of HR” suggest an Assimilation Evaluation at 30 days, a focused Check-in meeting for sharing issues at 60 days and a Performance Evaluation at 90 days. As possible, make the sharing of feedback, checking in and evaluation an all level and direction (360 degree) give and take opportunity.

Most of all, make sure the whole team gets to know each other. Make the most of this joining the team phase. Just as with every customer, from the first time they step through your door, do all you can to establish a long-term personal and professional relationship. If you keep “long-term relationship building” foremost in your mind, heart and in all of your interactions – success, satisfaction and a growing profitable business will be yours.

At work, home and in the community, in any context “think team.” We are in a time and age of cooperation, coordination and collaboration. Be an intentional team!

Thank you Barbara Mitchell and Cornelia Gamlem for all the valuable insights in your book.

And our thanks to Bernie Linnartz, of Empowerment Experts for his series based on The Big Book of HR. This first appeared in Taos News in March 31, 2016.

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Managing people is the most challenging part of any leader's day. And that job certainly is not getting any easier. The Big Book of HR will provide any HR professional, manager, or business owner of any size organization the information they need to get the most from their talent. It is filled with information on everything from the most strategic HR-related issues to the smallest tactical detail of how to manage people.