Press True Colours – Successfully integrating new team members – is it luck or is it an art?

Just as in a new marriage, the first months for a new employee is critical to consolidating the relationship. As in a marriage the work needs to come from both sides and it doesn’t stop there! How do you bring the cultures of two families together? How do you deal with inquisitive but well intentioned in-laws? What is needed for this to be a long term, happy and successful relationship?

As in marriage there are many steps to take in order to build a strong foundation. The planning process of the integration starts even before the new person in selected for the post. What type of individual with what skills is needed for the team to achieve its objectives? How can the existing team members be part of the interview and selection process? What are the key corporate values to be shared?

When the team leader involves the existing team members in this process he or she lays the foundations for shared responsibility towards the induction period of the new employee. It is also a good opportunity to review and be clear on the shared corporate values and how they are played out in the daily running of the company. When the new employee arrives they are then given a clear sense of the framework and values within which to work.

As in a marriage there are ups and downs and periods of great learning. The team wheel with its four phases; forming, storming, norming and performing mirror this. The leadership qualities of the team leader are critical in steering the team’s energy in the right direction, fulfilling the needs both of the team and the individual players whilst keeping the company’s business objectives in sight.

How do you find the right people to lead, and the optimum team players who can realise your company’s purpose? It is important to understand your company’s ‘landscape’. That is, how is your company perceived by the outside world and how do you measure performance of teams and people? From an inside perspective, what is it that motivates your valued staff and helps to create an open culture which allows for free flowing information, innovative thought and productivity?

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