Unlike an octopus, a person can not instantly adapt to a new environment. A new employee will not reach the maximum level of productivity on the first day, now will they learn the corporate rules – written or unwritten.
To make efforts to integrate newcomers is a profitable business from all perspectives, including financial ones: the selection of IT specialists is still a resource process.
In large teams, the onboarding process is usually formalized, includes adaptation workshops and designated mentors. In small teams there’s less official terms. But in any case, it is desirable that the process would be manageable.
So how can you help newcomers get accustomed to the team? Here are 10 ideas from Indigo.
1. Warm Encounters
So, yesterday’s candidate is successfully found by the recruiting agency and approved by the head. Preparing to start a new chapter of their career, probably it’s important for them to arrive in a team that is ready for them.
It is important to warn about the arrival of “frash” employees in advance. In some teams such simple but valuable rules are used: one team member finds the future colleague on a social network and adds them. This way, the new candidate feels involved before they’ve even crossed the threshold of the office.
2. Important details
It’s important to prepare for new arrivals. At least – brush the coffee crumbs off the work table and make sure the chair is not broken. If you want to go all out – prepare a symbolic gift, announce newcomer in the corporate newsletter, and introduce the debutant and the team to each other during an office tour.
It is useful to issue a welcome-sheet with basic information – departments, contacts, responsible persons. Not everyone can boast a photographic memory and remember where front-end-developer Ivan is sitting and to whom to address if you urgently need color pencils.
3. Adaptation friend
Often newcomers are greeted by HR or manager. But it would be nice to make it a habit for someone from the team to play the role of Buddy: a person with whom you can talk informally. What’s really important is comfort in personal communication,not a professional background.
4. The inner circle
It is important for a new person to dive in. Invite him to working meetings and engage in informal conversations, even if at first much is unclear.
It is useful to ask what the beginner is fond of, help him integrate not only into the working life, but also the informal life of the company.
5. Make a deal
To understand how successfully the probation period has passed, at the very start you need to discuss what results the company expects from an employee. Some expectations will be discussed at the stage of selection by an IT-recruiter or manager, but it is important to specify them. There is definitely no place for wondering: often the trial period ends with conflict precisely because the parts initially did not agree on mutual expectations.
6. Stops at the distance
The probationary period is the first marathon. And a person can honestly run his 42 kilometers, and then suddenly find he was racing in the wrong direction. Agree to evaluate not only the final, but also the intermediate results: so the employee and the company will have a chance for feedback, in order to correct the actions and achieve the expected results. Depending on the team’s workstyle, the approach to performing tasks is more or less flexible. But control points are important.
7. Training day
A wrestling coach does not put a beginner into the fight with the champion in the first training session.. Even an experienced specialist, when in a new place, has the right to catch his breath and get a feel for things. Depending on experience and adaptive abilities, the process will be easier or more difficult. But one can’t jump into the saddle at a gallop. Nuances should be accounted for in advance: if the deadline for the implementation of an important project is in one month, the IT staff it would be better to select staff by experience rather than potential..
8. Provide the right utensils
Usually work-ready individuals don’t to be spoonfed. They come to the company , realizing that they will have to make extra personal efforts to get up to speed. While they will be using them themselves, it is still important to provide quality fishing rods for the company – and this includes technical resources, information, the opportunity to seek advice, and the right to discuss the problems that have arisen.
9. Right to mistakes
Whether we like it or not, the law of achievements is severe: before you create something great or at least good, you need to hit some bumps. And sometimes when one player gets hit, the whole team feels the pain. It’s great if the newcomer understands: in a new place it’s safe. Everyone has the right to an honest mistake.
Some companies form peculiar castes. The first is “veterans” who remember what the owner exclaimed when the first ingenious idea popped into his head and built the company together with him. The second is the ‘’newbies’’, which has no right to speak . For faster integration don’t do things this way. It’s good when the “old-timers” are ready not only to share wisdom, but also to recognize that new blood has potentialh.