We’ve all been new to something or somewhere. Do you remember how it was? The hours before entering the classroom at your new school, or walking through the door to the new gym. Everywhere we go for the first time is, obviously, new to us.
Our feelings are basically the same every time: excitement, nervousness, walking into the unknown! Some of us are driven by it and other of us aren’t the biggest fans.
After a shorter time, we develop habits, routines and everything isn’t new anymore. Some places feel a bit like home the more time we are spending at a place. And we get to know the people we share the place with. This makes us more secure. Makes us feel safer and lets us develop and contribute on a whole other level than if we were insecure and felt too new.
The first day at a new job is no different than any other life-changing experience. Even though you’ve done the job before, the environment, the people, and even the coffee are different.
The thing is, that when we’ve developed our routines and we feel that we finally fit in, we tend to forget how it was to be the new guy. We forget that the banalities are just as important to your new colleague that it was for you back then. The most basic things are often the most forgotten when integration others to the place you’ve worked for some time.
The three initiatives you can do for the new colleague:
1. Meet them at the reception/main entrance. A good, warm welcome will ease most people. Remember the state they might be in. Follow up with a tour of the new place. Don’t assume they’ve been here before, and if they have then most of the information might have slipped since then. “Worst case” is that you have some common thing to talk about if they remember certain details. End the tour a the designated workstation where you introduce the closest co-workers before handing over the new colleague to…
2. The mentor or buddy. Whatever you chose to call it it’s really important to have a go-to resource at the new place. Most places they make the nearest leader or manager the buddy but you will get more out of using a colleague. Primarily because they are the ones actually working in the field every day but also considering the psychological barrier there will always be between new, maybe insecure employees and the experienced manager. It’s a good idea to find the mentor or buddy in the current staff before, and to make this colleague responsible for…
3. Remembering the basics. Is the ID card ready and what about the computer for work? The basic tools we have in our everyday work life are often so common for us, that we forget how long it takes to e.g. install Windows on a computer for the first time. And that’s not even including the time it takes to set up Outlook! Who to call if something is tricky or a customer calls – and how does this phone work?! The more of the basics the buddy can help with before the first day, the greater the chance of success for the new colleague.
There are a lot of basic things in our work life. The point is that most of them aren’t things we normally think about – but new hires will! Finding all the banalities can be tricky and you might not succeed the first couple of times, but keep learning.
What about you, do you have any valuable experiences with being responsible for a new colleague that you want to share, then I’d like to hear more. Please reach out!