The role of leaders today is to be responsible for the care of the people they lead. But how can you demonstrate care when you can’t take a new hire out for coffee or lunch to introduce them to colleagues? Here’s a couple of ideas.
I recall a time before COVID-19 when on my first day at a new company, my boss and CTO walked me around the open plan office and introduced me to everyone. He stopped at each person’s desk and said, “Ajay meet Sally. She’s our new VP of Product Design.
Sally, this is Ajay. He’s our Staff Engineer for Conversational Artificial Intelligence (AI).”
That he knew everyone’s name and role showed me how invested he was in the people working at the company. Of course, I wanted to work for this person! Considerate and thoughtful, he instantly made me an ambassador for courteous leadership. Now, it was on me to follow up and develop working ties with the colleagues he had introduced me to. His job was done!
Between the global distribution of teams and COVID-19 restrictions, new hires may work with colleagues they will never meet in person. So, how do you help them get to know colleagues beyond organization charts, staff lists with photos, and a welcome email? What have you found to be effective ways to introduce them, make them feel welcome, and set them up for success right from the start?
A great alternative to walking by everyone’s desk is to have your new hire present themself to the company or department. To save time and effort, ask them to present a few key facts about themself using a standard presentation outline. That information might include their name, role, title, where they were born, where they live now, what they are proudest of professionally, who/what inspires them, and the name of the project and team they will be working on first.
Your new hire benefits from being connected to everyone they need to know to get started. Being the great hire you think they are, organizational chart in hand, they will spend the next week following up with teammates and begin building rapport.
The benefit for you is it’s a scalable system that takes only 10 minutes to present, and you can delegate the setup once the format is created.
The benefit to your team is that every employee has gone through the same presentation, so they will be engaged to see how the new hire measures up to the task! Plus, they will know who to go to about the project your new hire was brought in to work on.
As a former leader at Facebook, Apple, and Yahoo! building global product design teams, I’ve interviewed and hired many exceptional people with deep subject matter expertise and incredible leadership skills. For me, it’s the jewel of leadership to provide meaningful work for other people.
Your power and influence lies with your teams as much as it does managing up and across. If you set a new hire up for success and demonstrate genuine care by connecting them to the people they will be working with, you will be rewarded down the line with an engaged, productive, happy employee who feels trusted and empowered to do their best work.
If you’re feeling exhausted by the additional workload around hiring and onboarding remotely during a pandemic and would like to chat about what else is possible, DM me and we’ll set up a call and see if coaching is a fit.
Photo by Erda Estremera for Unsplash