How to quickly assimilate new recruits

Seven questions managers should ask new employees, agenda-free and with best intentions, to get to know them and help them integrate

Bhavna Dalal
Updated: Aug 13, 2019 04:03:33 PM UTC
Image: Shutterstock

Every day, new multinationals are opening offices in India. In these times, talent is the most valuable resource, and India can be an abundant gold mine of an intelligent, energetic and educated workforce. A lot of active recruitment is coming from second-tier cities.

On the other hand, the employee turnaround for these young entrants is quite high. The executive layer, along with the HR and L&D teams, is working hard to mentor budding leaders that have to manage the incoming workforce. There are many leadership development training programmes geared towards enabling the managers responsible for this flood of entrants. However, there is more that needs to be done to manage this constant and massive influx of new employees better.

Managers must learn to quickly assimilate the new employees into the company’s culture and their teams. While this happens organically and over time, speeding up of the process is now mandatory, given the environment. A structured process needs to be in place and followed earnestly to enable and allow quick assimilation.

In my interactions with people managers at different levels in the organisation, I have been privy to a front-row view of the management techniques of the more experienced people managers. What glares out as the secret sauce in case of successful teams is getting to know your new team members quickly--primarily as people first, and in the context of their roles next. It is not necessary to spend months and years getting to know them. A quick and effective way to do this is to ask them directly from a place of genuine curiosity, respect and no judgment, and listen to what they tell you about themselves. And just as it is essential for you to know them, let yourself be known to them too from a human and vulnerable perspective. It is the best way to build mutual trust and a rapport quickly and genuinely.

Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to prepare to have deeper and more meaningful conversations with your new team members.

    1. What do I already know about the new person?
    2. What do I not know, but would like to know?
    3. How can they contribute the most in their role?
    4. How do I communicate that effectively to them such that it excites them?
    5. What are the significant challenges this person will be focusing on during their first year in the order of importance?
    6. What would I like the new employee to know about us, either as individuals or as a group?
    7. How are we as a team going to help the new person be successful?

Your intention in their best interests and the well-being of the team is critical. To be able to get valid answers to this question, a coaching demeanour of being agenda-free as you connect with them is what will make this process successful. Keeping this list of seven questions in your back pocket is a powerful way of quickly getting to know people such that it will help their absorption within the team seamlessly.

The thoughts and opinions shared here are of the author.

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