How to Make a New Co-Worker Feel Like a Part of the Team
We’ve all been there—being the “new kid” is hard. Going into a new place with unfamiliar people is a hard spot to be in. Unfortunately, many of us have to do it multiple times in our lives, especially in our careers.
Starting a new job can feel a bit like the first day of school—you’re walking into a room full of people you don’t know who you have to get along with and who you will be spending countless hours with in the future. Not only do you want to make a good impression, but you want to excel at the job and be yourself.
If you’re on the other side of this and are welcoming a new team member, recognize the pressure they’re likely feeling. Then use these ways to immediately make the new person feel at ease.
You know how the incoming team member feels, so be quick with a smile on their first day. Having a friendly face as a greeting will go a long way in making them feel welcome. Ensure someone is there to meet them right away, and do a quick tour of the office so they have the lay of the land. And don’t be shy about asking them simple questions about themselves, it’s a good way to let them open up and for you to learn more about them and their experience.
If you’re a manager, ask the other team members to introduce themselves. It could be one-on-one or at a group meeting or lunch. And, in your first team meeting, have the newbie prepare a bit about themselves to share. Give them time to consider what they want to share so they don’t feel like they have been put on the spot.
In that same vein, invite the newcomer to things. Depending on the company or team culture, you might have standing coffee dates with different team members, so set one up with them, too. Or if you and a co-worker/friend are going out to grab lunch, invite the new person along. It’s likely the first few days will be overwhelmed with invitations, so set something up further down the line so they have breathing room to settle in, but know you’re looking forward to getting to know them.
The amount of new information thrown at you when you start a new job is overwhelming, we all know that. So without being condescending, be quick with explanations. This could be anything from explaining how a process works to certain team dynamics to where something is, or a more technical question. Whatever it is, you can usually tell if someone is confused, so jump in and ask or just offer the information outright. They’ll be grateful they didn’t have to ask.
Basically, treat the newcomer how you would want to be treated on your first day. Yes, everyone is different and some are more shy than others, but having a friendly, inclusive environment right from the start is a great first (and lasting!) impression to make.
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