Have you ever been super excited to join a company only to find no desk, no computer, or no one to eat with on day one?
It’s hard to feel excited in those circumstances.
Imagine welcoming a new teammate in a way that made him feel that by joining your team he had just made the best decision of his career. It only takes a little effort.
1. Email: Send an email to the team (including the new hire) the day she arrives. Share a few personal details about why hiring her was such a coup. (If your team leader doesn’t do this automatically, suggest it.)
2. Introductions: Buy a box of donut holes and put it on the new guy’s desk. Use the email from #1 to invite people from around the office to drop by to introduce themselves. If you office is a little more fun, leave a trail of arrows or a treasure map.
3. Lunch: Offer to show you new colleague the best places to find good lunch cheap (and on the way, point out the best parking, or dry cleaning, or other highlights she’ll want to explore in the work neighbourhood).
4. Org Chart: Help your new teammate understand the “invisible org chart.” Teach him about the gatekeepers, the wheel greasers, and the friendlies in other departments.
5. Boss: Share some tips about how the boss likes to work (voicemail vs. email, high-level reports or lots of detail, frequent touch points or no news is good news).
6. Acronyms: Give her a mock coupon for unlimited acronym deciphering.
7. Stories: Share any team stories, myths, or legends that are important for understanding the culture or sacred cows.
8. Contribution: Tell her how you think she can add value and give her some tasks she can do to make a contribution in the short term.
9. Admin: Help him learn the “way you do things,” especially how the admin staff like things to work — don’t let her inadvertently get on the wrong side of the admin staff.
10. Extracurriculars: Let him know about any extracurricular team events (baseball team, poker night, Habitat for Humanity builds).
Add to the story below. What was one thing someone has done for you that made you feel really welcome on a team? Let’s keep improving the list.