To retain a new staff member, make them feel welcome from day one

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It can be easy just to let an experienced new staff member “get on with it”, but this can often cause them to feel muted and isolated.
 
Studies show that 50-70% of newly hired managers fail at their new jobs and leave within 18 months. Losing a newly hired staff member is costly and can cause a loss of trust and confidence in leadership teams, affecting employee morale, turnover, service, quality, processes, and much more.
 
But there is a way to ensure team cohesion and retention of new hires by engaging the newcomers and encouraging existing staff to develop a new culture.
 
Even experienced new staff need individual attention. Don’t assume that experienced hires will be able to figure things out on their own. This can lead to them feeling undervalued and unclear about their decision making.
 
Instead, commit to talking to them at least once a week, even if it’s while completing other tasks. This will help build rapport and expose them to how your company works. You’ll also be able to identify your new staff member’s career goals, informing your future delegation of work.

A new team member means a new team

When new team members join a team, it’s easy for existing staff to assume it will be business as usual. New staff are expected simply slot into the existing team, but in reality a new member means a refresh of the team. The job of team integration is a collaborative process to be worked on by all existing team members.
 
Try signifying the change in the team by asking members to create a new set of team norms. Co-creating a plan for expected behaviours will allow everyone to feel part of the group.

Meeting participation boosts a team’s performance

A key characteristic of high-performing teams is that each team member has an equal chance to participate rather than allowing one or two members to hijack the meeting. Don’t let your meetings be dominated by those who have had the longest tenure in the group.
 
Try making equal participation one of the new norms. For key topics, ensure each person voices an opinion, even if they just say “pass” when they have nothing new to add. Get your more talkative team members to say “plus one” instead of elaborating on a previous point. This will ensure equal participation from the newcomers and keep the veterans from checking out.

Newcomers need support and amplification

There’s a small window of time when newcomers can share valuable insights as “outsiders.” Even though companies hire externally to benefit from a staff member’s experience, newcomers are often considered too new to add value. Have you ever caught yourself rolling your eyes whenever a new staff member starts a phrase, “At my previous company…”?.
retainnewstaff | Teamrecruit
Try coaching the new team member to share their insights by relating their remarks to the current discussion. For example, instead of saying, “At my previous company we used to have daily meetings to prioritise new issues,” they could say, “It seems like we’re either waiting for the weekly meeting to discuss time-sensitive issues. It might be helpful for us to set up a short daily meeting to prioritise emerging problems.”
 
It would also be beneficial for you and your long-standing direct reports not to allow the conversation to move on until a new member was fully heard. Follow up, ask for details, and highlight possible actions the team could take to benefit from the new wisdom in the room.
By implementing a dual strategy of engaging the newcomers while also encouraging existing executives to develop a new culture works. You will create a cohesive team in which differences between new and old melt away. New team members are engaged and contribute at the same rate as the veterans. Soon, your team will have a new set of in-jokes that don’t leave anyone feeling left out!
 
Teamrecruit is Australia’s most established recruitment agency specialising in truck, earthmoving and agricultural machinery dealerships in Australia, New Zealand, the South Pacific and Southeast Asia. Find out more about Teamrecruit and how we support employers and candidates in the dealership industry.

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