Coming together is the beginning; staying together is progress; working together is success. Henry Ford said that a long time ago, but don’t we wish for the same thing in the workplace too? As with most things, it’s easier said than done. How exactly do you make beginnings happen the right way, and how can you ensure they grow into a long-term experience?
New kids on the block
Whether you’re running your own business or you’re a manager in an organization, adding new members to the team always comes with an extended period of training and adjustment on both ends. The hardest part about the whole process is when the team needs to transfer the company knowledge to the new kids on the block. Because it must be done consistently, so that they learn the ropes of their new job as fast as possible. And that’s where the challenge begins.
No matter how adaptable your new team members might be, this is always a time-consuming, not to mention expensive journey. According to Oxford Economics report, replacing a team member costs employers a staggering £30,614. That’s how much the lost output and the logistical cost of recruiting and absorbing a single new team member cost.
Teams need an environment when questions can be easily asked, and answers can be rapidly found. By default, the ‘apprenticeship’ period nests all sorts of anxieties and fears. At some point, we’ve all been there, so we can empathize. Who’s the best person to ask about project insights? Who has the time to show me the ropes? Who’s the really patient one around the office? How many times can I ask something before it becomes just too much? These are questions that no HR induction guide or corporate manual can answer.
Cultivate team mentorship
In his book, The First 90 Days: Critical Success Strategies for New Leaders at All Levels, HBS professor Michael Watkins described transitions as testing experiences, mostly due to a “sink or swim” managerial culture. The question is how can you accelerate the transition process so that the newcomers swim independently at the soonest?
If you have enough resources, you can appoint a mentor to take the new team members under his wing and share valuable information. It’s a possibility, but it’s expensive. Let’s face it, in the fast-paced workplace, finding a senior with enough time on his hands to take on such responsibility is a luxury.
That aside, the solution is also incomplete. Because the company knowledge is the sum of all individual perspectives and experiences, the output of teamwork. Every team member possesses valuable information that would benefit the newcomers. So, entrusting a single person with the task of passing on such a large amount of information and expertise implies depriving the newcomer of the whole perspective.
Instead of leaving the training period in the hands of a single team member, you should focus on enabling and cultivating team mentorship. Harboring a collaborative work environment speeds up the pace at which newcomers receive knowledge and support from all team members, keep up-to-date with the projects, become actively involved in the workflows, and eventually feel part of the team.
Suppress anxiety with collaboration
The question is how do you create a collaborative work environment? We all know building collaborative habits doesn’t happen overnight. Along with the team’s willingness to foster such habits, you need a collaboration software to support it. Case in point: Hubgets.
Due to its synergic features, Hubgets can help you efficiently counteract newcomers’ most frequent fears. Let’s see how you can use Hubgets to minimize each of these fears and help new team members fit in and become productive more rapidly.
Fear of not knowing enough
Newcomers usually fear they will not learn everything there is to learn in due time or fast enough. Hubgets helps you reduce that fear and speed up the learning process.
For example, you may organize a private instant group discussion (we call it Topic) to answer questions and share all the resources needed for their training. Or, if you want to assign newcomers on a project under development, you may add them to the Topic already discussing it. This is the fastest, least intrusive way to gather information. Just by browsing the Topic history and consulting the resources shared in it, newcomers can catch up on their own. The Advanced search feature will help them instantly retrieve specific information.
Fear of being the last to know
When someone new joins the team, you need to work towards involving them in all workflows as fast as possible. In busy environments, creating a routine might take a while.
In Hubgets, you don’t have to make extra effort to keep newcomers up-to-date with assignments, projects, company news, events, team schedules etc. You may add them to Topics dedicated to specific tasks or projects. When you send a mass message, it will also reach them. Plus, there’s the Team board where members post updates that are instantly visible to everyone. And if you want to ensure newcomers stay in the loop, you may use the mention feature available in all flows.
Fear of interruptions
When you’re new on the job, it’s always hard to tell the right time to ask a question lest you should interrupt. Because you don’t know your teammates just yet, you’re not familiar with their schedule or work routine.
Communication gets more effective when you know how your teammates are doing. In Hubgets, you can tell what teammates are available just by looking at the color of their avatars: red is for busy, green’s for available, orange for temporarily unavailable, grey for idle. The best thing about presence in Hubgets is that, even if you message or call a Busy teammate, you will not disturb them. Hubgets will send a notification, but will not interrupt them from their work. And there’s more, Hubgets asks people about their mood and lets everyone else know if they’re having a good day or a bad day.
Fear of forgetting
Remember your first day on a job? Particularly that awkward moment when you’re being introduced to an entire team and you can’t even remember who’s who, let alone who does what?
When you’re working with a friendly tool like Hubgets, it’s easier to start and build relationships. Team members, newcomers included, get to know more about each other in a natural, non-intrusive way. Everyone can build a nice profile with photos, job titles, short bios, and contact details.
Hubgets for the win
With Hubgets, businesses gain a fast-paced team and also a happier HR department. Due to its transparency, the induction effort is minimized and integration happens a whole lot faster than usual.
So, do you want to get happy and productive new employees really fast? Bring your team to Hubgets.
Hand-picked recommended reading: What Ancient China Can Teach Us About Onboarding New Employees