There’s one of a kind in every team. The serious ‘nerdy” type, the office clown, the introvert, the expert and even the occasional Trekkie! Everyone is talented and contributes to your team and the organisation and all in all, everyone gets along and has fun. But what about when you have a potential non-team player and especially if they have the skills and talent to do the job well? Maybe nothing! They are in fact there to do that job. However, we all know the benefits of team cohesiveness and how it can improve morale and productivity and there’s certainly nothing wrong with hiring a ‘different” style of person.
The most common mistake employers make happens even before the new team member commences. The advice I give to Managers is to start the ‘team-gelling’ exercise at the offer of employment stage. For example, explain the dynamics of the current team and their successes and that you believe that the individual can also be a part of that success. Describe the culture and expectations and give examples of some of the team members’ idiosyncrasies to highlight the diversity within the team.
On the flip side, advise your current team of the new recruit and a brief personality profile, focusing on the reasons why he/she is being invited to join. A good idea is to select a ‘buddy’ to ensure a smooth transition into the organisation and team culture. This enables the new recruit to feel comfortable and safe about asking questions, making recommendations and generally feeling welcomed.
Finally, as a Manager you need to listen to feedback. Find the time to catch up with the new person after a week or two and discuss their progress, do they have any difficulties, how are they enjoying the systems, getting on with the customers and most importantly – how are they fitting in with the team? It’s these initial conversations that will help you determine if and how they will complement your current team, as well as sending a strong message that they will be heard.