I was discussing with a friend of mine about the problems with getting started with a new team (team building).
The discussion was around common problems with initial team setup and I was thinking what is that as a manager some body could do, so that the team can get started….
- Send a preparatory email to a new team member even before they get in. Give a brief overview about the kind of projects, technology etc..
- Build Trust: The first step in getting started in any relation ship is to build trust. Especially when you are building a team from scratch there will be team members from different background. Some of them could be from your company and some of them could be from different company backgrounds. Its very important as a manager to build the trust.
- Setup the First 1:1: I have learnt this from one of my favorite manager "Musthafa". Let the team members try to settle down things on their own for a week time, see how they are doing and setup the first 1:1. 1:1 is a great tool for managers.
- Share the information about Project, Group, Culture, how the team works, information about the customers etc… with the new member.
- Share the Vision
- Explain the Roles and Responsibilities and clearly define what you are expecting from the new team member.
- Ask the team member about his/her expectations towards the project and know more from the new member.
- Get the Buy-in from the Team member.
- Define how to follow up
- Have Buddy Programs where someone from the team can be a buddy for the new team member. Not everyone will be comfortable speaking to managers and there will be scenarios where the new member has to find out information about how – to do things (Especially if they are from some other place).
- Speak to the team members very frequently… not just during 1:1’s.
- Provide Feedback. Team members need to know how they are doing. Setup 1:1’s every month. I prefer having 1:1’s with my team members every 3 weeks.
- Appreciate and Recognize team members.
- Finally, Promote Participation. Participative management always helps.
Refer to this interesting article "A Leaner Start: Reducing Team Setup Times". This article discusses the strategies to Reduce team setup times.
Happy Employees = Happy Customers !!!
Happy Team Building!!!! 🙂