"When you onboard a new employee, you've got to help them create a new comfort zone, and you want to focus on relationships and results. Comfort is an emotion. The way people feel about their co-workers and their abilities to add-value, to do good work for the company, is going to determine how comfortable they are.
Now, relationships take time, but there are some things you can do to accelerate their new social bonds. You want to focus on two relationships:
- Their relationships with coworkers, and
- Their relationship with you
When it comes to their relationship with coworkers, start by connecting the new hire with someone from a similar background and they'll feel a sense of belonging. Connect them with other new hires so they'll feel some camaraderie. Then connect them with your more positive employees because positive employees have optimism, and that optimism is really contagious.
Now, when it comes to their relationship with you, get to know the new hire because it shows you're interested in them. Check in with them out of the blue because it shows you care about them. And be brutally honest because it's the only way to build trust. When they feel like you're interested in them, care about them, and you're trustworthy, they're going to feel more comfortable.
Now, these all sound like common sense, and I know that you know everything I just said, but you'd be surprised how often these simple steps get overlooked. They take time. They don't take much time, but you're busy and these things are easy to forget, so don't.
Now, let's focus on results. There are three things you can do:
- Get them in the game fast,
- Let them play to their strengths, and
- Find them some quick wins.
The sooner you can put them to use, the sooner they're going to feel valued and a sense of purpose. When you let them play to their strengths, they're going to feel more confident. And once they have some success, they're going to feel a sense of accomplishment. When people feel a sense of value, purpose, confidence and accomplishment, they're going to start feeling more comfortable.
Create a to-do list for every new hire and add these and other best practices to that list. And remember, the longer it takes people to get comfortable, the harder it becomes. Do the little things upfront and they'll find their new comfort zone quicker."
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