We often hear how important it is to keep our team united and in high spirits, especially when a new member arrives. During an interview, an excellent question came up regarding this common concern: When you have a new member on your team, what steps do you take to make them really become and feel like a valuable asset to the team?
People tend to think that a content creators group of freelancers is not an actual company needing a specific managing model in order to thrive. Big mistake! When more than two people are working on a project then you need to keep the same pace and find a balance. This is applicable to any form of collaboration within a group. Usually, there is at least one project manager or one contractor, or one employer responsible to keep the team working at their very best.
Having said that, let’s go back to the original question. Usually, on the first day, I welcome the new member and introduce him/her to the team. On the second day, I prefer to give them one of our rejected projects and ask them to evaluate the client & project, without knowing that is already rejected. They have 15 days to show me their point of view.
Depending on their reaction and their strategic thinking, I give them the benefit of choosing on their own which departments could help them complete their assignment. If they know what they need and feel comfortable asking it, for me, this is a sign that they feel welcome. On the contrary, if they keep asking permission for every single step it means that we have a completely different business culture.
People feel welcome when they recognize the behavioral patterns close to their core personality traits. In other words, no matter what an employer does or offers as a welcoming gesture if the receiver feels incompatible, nothing would ever make them feel comfortable.
The way they reach out to the rest of the team will eventually form their final positioning. Also, watching how they focus on the project is a signal that they are ready to become part of our team. Focusing is a rare quality that only genuine creative minds have, under any given circumstances. I have seen people, providing brilliant solutions for their assignments and finally even turning the rejected project into a profitable client.
Giving a new member a specific assignment is much better than an abstract book of guidelines next to a box full of presents. It is a gesture of trust because the file usually contains all the necessary information to get into the fundamental company’s principles. It’s something solid, based on data, informative, risk-free, and works as a bridge of communication. The assignment declares that: we see you as equal, and we are waiting to hear your point of view.
To wrap it up, by providing the freedom to let them find their position it’s easier to establish their voice without me micromanaging them and the rest of the team. As it seems, this has been significant (so far) to make people feel valued from day one. I stress the word “feel” because nobody forgets the way you make them feel. After all, people never follow instructions, they follow your lead.
Now the stage is all yours. Please, do tell us, how do you make new members feel welcomed and like a valuable asset to your team? I can’t wait to read your input in the comments.