Managing Tension between New Hires and Seasoned Pros

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You’ve finally found the perfect employee for your hard-to-fill position, and you couldn’t be happier with your choice. Your new team member is friendly, experienced, motivated, and flexible. On her first day, you know she’ll show up with great energy and hit the ground running, and within a few weeks, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without her.

But what if things don’t go quite as smoothly as you expect? If your new employee gets off to a rough start, or just doesn’t receive a warm welcome from your existing teams, here are a few moves that can help both parties deal with the transition.

1. Prepare your staff ahead of time.

Share the employees name, explain her background, and be very clear about her start date. If your existing teams will need to prepare for her arrival or step aside for her in some way, make sure they know exactly what they’ll need to do and how they’ll be expected to do it.

2. Generate excitement and curiosity.

Encourage your teams to ask questions about the new employee, and discuss her in a positive light that emphasizes her expertise and gives her the benefit of the doubt. Make sure your existing teams see this as an exciting and inspiring change, not a chore.

3. Welcome the new by letting go of the old.

Teams can be especially reluctant to embrace a new employee if she happens to be replacing someone who is missed, someone who was highly respected, or someone who others counted on for their own sense of order and security. If this happens, the new person may be constantly and negatively compared with the departed employee, and she can’t really win this battle. So do what you can to discourage this behavior and put the past in the past.

4. Give malcontents a job.

Often the most disgruntled and resistant employees can undergo an instant attitude change if they’re made to feel important and valued. Instead of just instructing a grumbler to lighten up, ask his specifically to take the new employee under his wing. Use phrases like “She can really benefit from your expertise” and “I think you’re the perfect person for this task.”

For more on how to encourage teamwork and bring new employees on board without missing a beat or losing a moment of productivity, contact the management experts at CSS.

 

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