How do you support new team members?
How will you help them settle in and become an effective team member, not to mention feel happy about working on your team?
Is it just down to them pulling their weight/finding the ropes, or do you have a part to play too?
The beginning of a new term/year often means you have to hit the ground running, and sometimes you get so embroiled in your own stuff that you have little time for others.
But for your team to function effectively, and thinking long term, having some sort of an induction programme is useful, plus some strategies that will help your new team member feel right at home.
What do you currently do?
- Point them towards relevant policies / an Induction Pack?
- Make sure they’re clear about planning formats, timetables & team meeting dates and times?
- Show them where relevant resources are kept?
- Introduce them to other team members?
All these things are useful and help new team members carry out their role on a daily / weekly basis.
Here are some further ideas that you might like to incorporate into your current policy.
1. Make sure your first team meeting has a positive focus and includes the team vision for the year.
What are you aiming to achieve as a team by the end of the year?
[Check out the activity in this post for one way to achieve your team vision. It takes about half an hour, is a fun activity, and helps team members to work collaboratively.]
2. Be clear about the behaviours on which your team is built.
An example of this is shown in the 3 Rs of a Solid Team, which talks about Rules, Responsibility and Respect.
This will give clarity to all team members, not just new ones!
Discuss and agree your team behaviours at the start of the year. Encourage team members to suggest what each behaviour will look like on a day-to-day basis. That way – there’s less likely to be misunderstandings later in the year.
3. Plan in dates during the year when you will check in with the new team member.
This should be a relatively informal thing … a conversation, not an observation.
Give them an opportunity to talk about their successes and areas to develop, without fear of being judged. If you’ve had coaching skills training, you’ll be good at doing this (with your coaching hat on!)
What do you think of these additional ideas?
Which would you incorporate?
What else do you do to welcome and support new team members?
I’m Debbie Inglis, a performance coach, mentor and trainer, working with Heads, Principals, School leaders and their teams to maximise leadership performance, create more effective, confident, and motivated teams … in a way that brings out the best in you.