The workplace is a social environment – there’ll be colleagues new employees get on with, some who become good friends and some they may clash with.
We’ve written before on the topic of how to help new hires build support, feel included and importantly, manage difficult relationships. Giving your new hires the support to help identify and find allies will reduce the dip in motivation they experience within their first 100 days and help them to make progress early on in their new role.
This is a key role for HR and hiring managers. Too often there’s an assumption that new senior level hires will be fine on their own because of their extensive experience, but having access to a tour guide or confidant who can help them navigate their way through the internal politics is critical for your new hires success and helps mitigate against the potentially huge costs when a new hire doesn’t work out.
But how should you do that?
1. Understand Where Your New Hire Will Need Buy In
Allies are the colleagues who will give your new starters assistance, advice, backing and even friendship. They are the social support system that will help your new hire achieve their professional goals and will help them to survive and thrive within the corporate arena.
Allies aren’t just limited to immediate peer groups. As your new hire moves around the company they’ll interact with employees from a range of departments and functions, needing to build relationships with all of them to help achieve both their and the companies objectives. Being aware of where your new hire will need allies and buy in from other individuals can help you to connect them with the right people – from the Finance Director who can be a bit of a hard nose but loves cycling to the CEOs secretary who can provide clues about what kind of mood their boss is in – allies come in all shapes and sizes.
2. Map It Out
Draw a stakeholder map complete with photos and background information of the key people in the company your new employee will be interacting with. Fitting in with the team is a common concern for many new hires and this map will help them get familiar with key stakeholders. Including personal background information on each stakeholder allows the new hire to know the person behind the photo. You could also use a support table to help your new hire and existing stakeholders understand the benefits and expectations from each potential ally, this can be used to create strategies for building influence with each team.
3. Help Them Adapt To Working With Different Types Of People
Creating a positive working environment means having people that are happy to come to work every day. As part of this, new hires will need to work with different types of personalities so make sure your new starter is self-aware, conscious of their individual approaches to situations and understands how they should interact with people who might have conflicting styles.
4. Be The Go-To
Acting as a confidant for your new hire allows them to sound out an idea or strategy before they approach the person in question – increasing the chances of your new hire getting the response they need. It’s not enough to check in with a new hire every now and then – shadow them closely over the first 100 days, have an open dialogue with them and use your knowledge of the business to help them avoid pitfalls further down the road.
The first 100 days is a vitally important time for a new hire. Download our e-book ‘Hiring and Holding onto your Superstars’ to learn about the retention toolkit you can use to hold onto your best people.