Assimilation or Integration?

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The Tetris of Onboarding

Many organizations and leaders have varying perspectives and practices around team development and recruitment. While some allow for flexibility, congruous with the work-life balance desires of many workers today, others cater to a desire for clearly defined structure. Ultimately, however, whether our organizations use a flexible office model or traditional office paradigm is all moot if we aren’t effectively onboarding new talent to fit the cultures and teams therein.

What may arguably be a more pressing concern is that of workplace belonging, as delineated in this podcast, by researcher Beth Kaplan, EdD. Belonging is what fosters employee wellbeing and happier employees are more inclined to be productive employees. But to engender feelings of wellbeing and happiness, we must make time to learn about new candidates and teammates.

Taking time to identify personal priorities, what’s important to a potential teammate, helps us determine whether a role will add to or take away from their quality of life. Flexibility on our part can only enhance our ability to align the right people with the right roles. If being present for their children is important, then maybe we can figure out a flexible office model. If continual development is a priority, we can actively provide opportunities for growth. Neglecting the personal drivers of the people around us cuts a path to frustration and failure.

The prevalent sentiments of current teammates are also crucial when integrating new candidates, illustrated in the above video by executive coach Alisa Cohn. If a new policy or problematic colleague is dragging down morale, the concern must be appropriately addressed. Ignoring negative feelings allows them to fester and spread. It forces new recruits to be on their guard with one foot hovering out the door.

Our readiness to recognize and appreciate others further smoothens the transition from new hire to full teammate. As discussed in this episode of the Radical Candor podcast, it all comes down to connecting with people—not just as manager to employee, but as person to person. While deeper connections take time, we plant the seed for that fruitful tree when we spend time asking about someone’s interests, about their passions and goals—not just as they relate to work, but as they relate to life.

A need for income may create candidates, but at the end of the day, connection is what creates teams.

“The competition to hire the best will increase in the years ahead. Companies that give extra flexibility to their employees will have the edge in this area.”
– Bill Gates

Do you have an idea you want to share with an empowered community of self-aware professionals? If you’d like to contribute an idea or article to ‘In The Flow of Work’ on the Evolve blog, just send us a message or submit a post to our Head of Content, Adam Schneider

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