Starting a new job at any level can come with a certain amount of first day nerves and anxiety, but add to that the change in working practices of most businesses since the onset of the Covid-19 global pandemic, and it can be hard to know where to begin establishing important connections and working relationships.
With many companies favouring working remotely as the new norm for their business, you may not get those all important in-person introductions that you’re used to, so how do you circumnavigate this to ensure your introduction to the business is smooth, successful and productive? We have compiled a few tips that may help.
1. Before you start
During the recruitment process you will have been given, and likely absorbed of your own volition, a wealth of information about the business that has hired you. A great head start if you can recount facts, figures and other pertinent information off the top of your head, but what does this information tell you about the employees and company culture that surround the business? To get under the skin of the company culture before you start your new role, ask for access to any information you haven’t previously seen, or even better tap in to the company intranet system and take a look around.
2. Book short meet and greets
Usually on your first day you expect to do the rounds of the office to familiarise yourself with the environment and people in it. Remembering all those names and faces can be somewhat overwhelming and require some repetition. Whilst working remotely, you have the luxury of booking your own meet and greets, ideally on a video call. As a new leader this can feel more formal than normal as you are scheduling 1-2-1’s with your team, peers and internal stakeholders. Try to have 15 mins virtual coffees with no agenda other than to get to know each other better followed by a separate meeting to learn the business, culture and expectations. Try to keep the meet and greets relatively informal, avoid using jargon and acronyms initially.
3. Ask for introductions
Ask your new colleagues to introduce you to other team members, getting hints and tips on how to build quicker and better relationships with your new colleagues; it’s a great way to integrate yourself into the team and working culture. This can be especially useful in getting up to speed more quickly. Once you have done individual introductions, it may be pertinent to organise a team meeting to discuss objectives, goals, challenges and so on.
Understanding how your colleagues and team members prefer to communicate will ensure positive and productive interaction. While it may be tempting to jot everything down in an email, sometimes the key messages or action points get lost in translation, or worse buried in the hundreds of other emails that person has in their inbox. Often picking up the phone and making a quick call, requesting video chat or sending an instant message can lead to better results. Check if the company uses a chat system that indicates if your colleagues are available, offline, in a meeting and so on – this is a great way of planning communications and managing expectations.
These are just a few ways to proactively and easily integrate yourself into your new company, understanding the culture, personalities and preferences of colleagues and team members will ensure a smooth transition. Remember, give yourself time to feel part of the team and to feel comfortable on a more social level with your colleagues – patience is key at a time where everyone is having to take a more flexible approach to work.
JMR Global partners all our clients and candidates intimately throughout the onboarding process, helping to navigate any politics, frustrations and potential misunderstandings; acting as the trusted advisor to both sides. Now even more important than ever as perception is you are more isolated working remotely – get in touch to find out more and we can share our learnings.