Few of your teammates officially report to you, but your first few days with a new hire are crucial to ensuring your own success.The way you handle their first days will set the tone for years of success or frustration. Here is how to send your new team member home feeling excited about day 2.
1. I’m Not Your Boss But You’re Worth My Time
Make sure to spend at least two full hours with the new hire. What you do is up to you (take him to lunch), but be sure he knows the most important thing on your agenda began with his name. For legal or personal reasons, an indirect report can tell you things they may not tell their boss. Establish yourself as a sounding board for frustrations and a safe place to send very silly questions.
2. First Swing Home Run
While onboarding, make sure your new team member knows how she can win. Few things are as frustrating as putting in extra effort and having no impact. But if her role is clear then her first project has a chance at being a home run. Put clarity first and worry about micromanagement later.
3. A 10 Minute Rule
Get results for his first questions or requests within 10 minutes. Does he need credentials for the company wiki? Is something on his laptop not working? Set the tone that says “our job is to make sure you have everything you need – NOW” rather than “email that guy you don’t know 3000 miles away and he’ll get back to you in 3 days – read this 400 page manual until then.” A 10 minute target is difficult to hit and can’t persist forever, but you have the chance to set the bar very, very high.