3 Ways to Derail Team Formation: Part 3

Here is the third excerpt from our recent article on 3 Ways to Derail Team Formation. In Part 1 of this post I talked about the first mistake that derails team formation – Ambiguity of team purpose and vision for the future. Part 2 focused on the mistake of – Hiring a warm body instead of the right person Here’s Mistake #3… Dis-orientationMost team members are hired and then thrown into the fire. There are unwritten rules to figure out, different personalities to decipher, an outdated organizational chart to interpret, and a job description that was “copy and pasted” with irrelevant information about their role. Sure, your new team member may go through an on-boarding process with Human Resources, but that typically does little to convey the “real” culture of the team. The problem with this common scenario is that employee attrition typically happens within the first 18 months of a team member’s tenure. And, when you consider that it costs 1-3 times a person’s salary to hire someone new, the lack of attention to your new employee can get expensive very quickly. Taking the time to intentionally orient new team members will help accelerate their integration on the team and enable them to be productive. At a minimum the following should be reviewed with the entire team every time a new person is hired.

  • Share behavioral styles among team members so that everyone is clear about each others’ preferences and styles of working (we use DiSC® with our clients whenever possible).
  • Review the team’s purpose and vision for the future.
  • Communicate team norms and values.
  • Clarify roles and responsibilities. Ensure key hand-offs are discussed and new team members are introduced to influencers on other teams.

Additionally, the team leader should:

  • Ensure goals and standards are discussed and documented.
  • Begin to conduct monthly 1-1s to provide the new team member with a consistent opportunity to express needs and gather feedback.
  • Align recognition efforts so that the new team member is awarded/acknowledged at Year 1, instead of waiting until Year 5.

How is your team doing?

  • Do you have a formal process to orient new team members?
  • Are goals and roles clearly defined and understood?
  • Have monthly 1-1s been started to open the lines of communication?
  • Are recognition efforts aligned with improving retention in the first 18 months of a team member’s tenure?

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