By Emma Dupont – Brown
The ‘return to the office’ is certainly underway, with many opting for hybrid work arrangements as a new way of operating. Employers are tired of seeing vast empty office spaces and the idea of endless virtual meetings has left them fatigued – Hybrid is the new norm. However, navigating this environment and bringing on new team members starting out in a new job is not as easy as perhaps it once was when we were in the office five days a week.
As leaders, we have a strong role to play to facilitate the opportunities to welcome new people into our businesses and help them know their purpose and the support network that sits around them.
If you’re trying to get your team to hum with new members in this environment, here are some strategies that can be effective during the first few months:
Set Clear Expectations – Onboarding is a critical part of starting the journey. Make the time upfront to set people up for success, this can go a long way towards creating a smooth transition. One effective strategy is to establish tangible goals for week one, week two, month one, month two, and so on. This not only helps ensure that everyone is on the same page, but it also allows for progress to be measured and provides a sense of purpose for the new starter. Regardless of whether they are working remotely or in-person, the new employee will feel that they are set up for success from day one.
Share The Rhythm – Having an established working routine is helpful, as it promotes predictability and can increase overall productivity. Having a consistent routine can make it easier for people to adapt and get into the flow of work, as opposed to having frequent changes that can be disruptive. be clear about which days are designated for working from the office and which days are designated for working from home. Flexibility is great and many organisations are now moving to have ‘set team days’ when everyone is in the office together to facilitate connection and collaboration. This is balanced with other days where employees can work either from home or in the office based on what suits them best.
Assign A Buddy – As leaders, we focus on the big rocks, however as a new starter the learning curve of new systems, new workplace, new resources, new processes can be overwhelming. Being set up for success with someone who is already familiar with the operations and can provide detailed answers to questions can be extremely valuable.
Get Social – Reviving the tradition of team lunches can be a fantastic way to strengthen team dynamics, create a more enjoyable atmosphere, and encourage camaraderie among colleagues. With more people back in the office, the buzz in the city is palpable from Tuesday to Thursday, with bars and coffee shops full of people reconnecting. Therefore, it’s crucial to take the initiative to find ways to bring your team together in a fun environment to break down barriers, connect, understand their perspectives, and build meaningful relationships. It’s essential to recognize that we are multi-faceted individuals, and our personal and professional lives are intertwined, so taking the time to get to know each other can go a long way in building a strong team dynamic.