Integrating a New Member into the Team

There is an interesting phenomenon that sometimes occurs when adding a new member to the team. Although existing team members seem eager for the addition of a new member, they begin to sabotage the success of the new member shortly after their arrival. Below are some tips to bring a new team member onboard in a manner that will set him/her up for success.

  • Allow the existing team to interview potential candidates for the open position and give their input ample weight when deciding who to hire, promote or transfer into the team.
  • Existing team members will all take a role in orienting, coaching, and mentoring the new member. Existing members will be asked to instruct the new staffer the work areas where s/he is particularly proficient.
  • A social event such as a group breakfast, lunch, or small conference event should be held to welcome the new member in a relaxed setting.
  • The new group member should rotate through every job in the work team within the first two weeks on the job to obtain a global perspective as to how the entire team interfaces and functions.
  • The new team member should be given a reduced workload that grows over time as s/he becomes more confident and competent to perform the required tasks.
  • Team members need to refrain from gossiping and complaining in the presence of the new staff member so that s/he can form their own opinions of the work unit without undue bias from others.
  • The existing members should spontaneously offer help, instruction, and encouragement to the newest member without appearing burdened or bothered.
  • Current team members will help the new person feel welcome by freely sharing general information about themselves, and creating a relaxed and accepting atmosphere.
  • The team leader will want to meet frequently with the new team member to answer questions, clarify expectations, and lend encouragement and support.

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