How Better Team Building Can Help Your New Hire
by Kurtis Blackburn
So, you’ve just brought a new hire onto your team. Now what? Well, as with any new addition to a team, it’s your job to help them feel like they are a part of it, like they belong and they have something to contribute. So how do we go about doing that? Well, the best way is by already having a clear team building plan in place, fortune favors the prepared. We have gathered together 12 great tips to help you have a clear, concise team building model to follow, so your new hire can hit the ground running. So lets get right to it.
1. Define the teams goal.
A clear goal can make the difference between a good team and a great team. Think back to when you were first hired for the position you are in now. When you started, did your team have a clear goal in mind? If yes, how did that help you? How would you have improved upon it? If no, would it have helped you? Do you think you could have benefited from something like that? For a new hire to come into a group of people who are all working at the same goal can put them leagues ahead of someone who comes into a team without one. A clear goal gives your team something to strive towards, and it will give your new hire a clear path to follow, so they can hit the ground running. Take a minute to really think about your goals, maybe even utilize your team to help you come up with goals so you are all on the same page. This 2008 study shows how setting clear goals can positively impact your team.
A clear goal can make the difference between a good team and a great team.
2. Review Progress Together
If you expect your team to make progress, then its your job to go over that progress with them. It’s vital for your team to see the progress they are all making, or the places they can improve. You are all in this together, any success or failure belongs to all of you as a team. It’s important to remember that. But how will this help your new hire? Well, what better way to bring your new hire up to speed than with an open and honest discussion about whats working and what isn’t. Reviewing your progress together is a great way to show new hires what you expect of them, and where they fall in the team.
3. Solve Issues Immediately
A new hire brings a completely new dynamic to your team, and with that, can come a handful of issues. There will always be a period where both your new hire, and your existing team, need to learn to accept this new variable, and work with it. It’s important to your team building to deal with these issues immediately. Never let a problem fester. It will only get worse and worse, and could eventually damage your team irreparably. This also gives you an opportunity to show your new hire that you care about them individually, and that they are part of a team thats being led by someone who listens. We recommend already having a clear action plan should any issues arise. The swifter they are dealt with, the better your team will be.
4. Celebrate Achievements
When it comes to team building, positive recognition is everything. When your team reaches a goal, no matter how big, it deserves to be celebrated. They are making progress, and that progress should be acknowledged. Show your new hire that they are appreciated, and that their hard work is not going un-noticed. It’s amazing what a little bit of recognition will do for an employees morale. Don’t be afraid to reward hard work.
5. Break the Monotony
Get out of the office! Whether for lunch, a convention, or just a small business trip, getting out of the office can do wonders to break up the monotony in the best way possible. Something as simple as eating outside the office can do wonders for your team. The office is a great place to get work done, but there is just no denying that it can grow boring. Sitting at your desk all day may be necessary at times, but it isn’t very great for team building. Keeping your employees locked up behind their desks can tank your employee morale. So why not get them out from behind that desk as often as possible? A quick employee lunch can do wonders to keep both morale and productivity up.
6. Embrace Diversity
The more diverse your team, the more diverse your ideas. Everyone came from somewhere, and they all have a story. Why not utilize that? Great ideas come from all walks of life. The more diverse your team, the more diverse their ideas. Diversity adds a whole new level of depth to your team, and with that comes a wealth of new ideas. For a new hire this can be a vital thing. As a new addition to the team, seeing that all ideas from all walks of life, are accepted and encouraged can be inspiring. It encourages them to be themselves, and show that their voice will be
The more diverse your team, the more diverse your ideas.
7. Cross Train Employees
Imagine having a car that, when something breaks, another part is capable of picking up the slack until you can fix it. A team is really no different. If everyone just does one job, you’re setting yourself up for failure. What happens when one of them is sick, or leaves the team? You are left with out a functioning part, causing your team to grind to a halt. Cross training your employees is vital to all team building. Not only will you have a back up in case of emergency, but you also have a way to help pick up the slack. Having several people trained to deal with an issue helps make sure no single employee is left feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes having that cushion of help, should they need it, can be incredibly relieving.
8. Allow flexibility
The more rigid the system, the more likely it is to shatter. A firm grip at times may be necessary, but squeezing your team constantly will only result in disaster. Allow some flexibility. Your team is only human after all, mistakes happen. It isn’t the end of the world. With a proper goal in mind, and a pre-established process to handle issues, allowing some flexibility shouldn’t be that difficult. Remember, you are working WITH your team. Allow a little leeway here or there when you can. You team will be better off, and you’ll be a lot less stressed.
9. Create a Collaborative Atmosphere
Where creativity and collaboration rains, a productive team will grow. No idea is a bad idea, and its important to remember that when team building. Few things will kill employee morale faster than feeling un-appreciated. Your team needs to work together, and a collaborative atmosphere will facilitate that in the best way possible. The term ‘Think Tank” refers to a group of people coming together, and collaborating on something great. The results are, almost always, amazing. So why not have a few think tanks of your own from time to time? Being able to bounce ideas of one another and brainstorm together will help your team to create innovative new things, and achieve those goals you set up earlier. Always promote collaboration, and I think you’ll be surprised with the results.
10. Set Clear Roles
Have you ever heard the saying “Too many cooks in the kitchen”? Well, it exists for a reason. With out clear roles you will have employees tripping over one another, and stepping on toes. Frustrations will quickly grow and evolve into negative situations. Having clear, defined roles will help your employees know what is expected of them on each specific project. Give your team different roles that focus on their skills. Encourage collaboration, but make sure it doesn’t boil over into someone stepping outside their role.
So there you have it, 10 great tips to get you started towards great team building, and welcoming your new hire into a functioning, well oiled team. These are just a few ways to get that team rolling, but we are always open to suggestions. If you feel that you have a helpful tip, let us know in the comments below.
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