Is your team growing? If so, that’s great! You should throw a little party to celebrate. The ability to grow a team is a sure sign of success in your endeavors. However, it doesn’t take long to notice that it’s not all sunshine and roses when your team grows and changes. Here are three tips you need to know in order to navigate well through some of the most common growing pains you probably have coming your way (or are already in the middle of…):
1 Set Expectations
One of the most important tips for onboarding new team members is to set clear expectations early. It can be nerve-racking for someone to join a new team, but one of the things you can do to set their minds at ease and get them in the flow of the job is to give them very clear expectations. When your newest team member doesn’t have to spend their mental energy trying to figure out what is expected of them, they can focus on the whole reason you brought them onto the team in the first place. Do this on their first day on the job if you can!
2 Welcome Fresh Perspectives
It can be tough whenever someone joins the team and tries to express their opinion about things that they don’t know that much about. It can be difficult for the boss and for more veteran team members who have been in the trenches to take their opinions seriously. But the truth is that we are often too close to the thing we are doing to see what we might be missing. Companies often pay for a fresh, outside perspective from consultants; but we usually don’t want to hear it from new employees or team members. So instead of just hoping this doesn’t happen, create a regular time and space for the new team members to share these thoughts. Try a once-per-week 10-minute meeting for the first month with them. This way, you can gain from their fresh insights, but they also aren’t frustrating your team by doing it all the time.
3 Empower Veteran Team Members
It’s often difficult for new team members to mesh with the more veteran team members. As a matter of policy, have your veteran team members build habits when onboarding a new team member such as checking in on them a couple of times per week to see if they need help with anything and taking breaks and getting coffee at the same time. One great thing your vets can do is to send short welcome emails to the new team member offering congratulations on joining the team as well as an explanation of the veteran’s job description along with areas they might be able to help them acclimate to their new job.
Growing Pains Are Natural
Don’t forget that growing pains are a natural part of growing a team. Focus on why you decided to grow your team, and extend grace and encouragement to the new members of your team whenever you get the opportunity.
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