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"Out with the old, in with the new" Are you starting a new role?

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Recently, I was delivering the "First 90 Days in your New Role" for LHH. This is a workshop which generates great discussion around helping people who are still interviewing to find their next appropriate opportunity and to think about how they would answer this question at interview. How someone may answer this question can vary depending on whether the question is asked at the start or end of any recruitment process. 

The workshop also gives those people who have secured their next role a framework to adapt to the role and organisation they are joining, thinking about what to focus on in their first 30, 60, 90 days.

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In the aforementioned recent session, we talked about the increasing number of times people may transition in their career, not only to a completely different role within a different company but also a different role within the same company.

In the New York Times, 9th September there was an article - “If you never met your co-workers, did you even work there?” What was interesting about this article was that the authors state that as the pandemic drags on more and more people are joining organisations and leaving them without ever meeting their colleagues/co-workers face-to-face, leading to an "easy-come, easy-go attitude" towards workplaces.  According to this article, more workers have left their jobs during the pandemic months than in any other time since tracking began in the US in December 2000.

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In running this session since the pandemic, I have changed the emphasis to consider what the person has to reflect on working through the pandemic and potentially interviewing and joining a new organisation virtually.

Here are a few things to consider if you are currently transitioning:

  • Self-awareness is paramount - knowing how you like to work, how you like to take information onboard; how you like to learn.  As I mentioned in my blog "What does belonging mean to you?" (https://j-w-c.co.uk/blog-display/293) - reflecting on the 3 Cs:
    • your capability/competence to do the role you are applying for
    • compatibility/culture - will the organisation you are joining allow you to be your authentic self?
    • chemistry - can you see yourself working for whoever will be your line manager?  Can you see yourself as part of their team? 
  • Communication and, more importantly, asking the right questions throughout the recruitment process to help you make an informed decision where you know you can tick "yes" to the 3 Cs above. If you haven't asked as many questions as you would have liked, you still have time to do this before your actual start date. For example, do you know how you will be inducted/onboarded?  What for you, will help you make that successful transition and get up to speed as quickly as possible?  What will allow you to create that great first impression when you start?  Ask for clarity, then share what you need.
  • Preparation - "out with the old, in with the new".  Ensure you leave behind any baggage you may have as a result of leaving your old organisation. Have that positive, open and growth mindset. Decide on how you want to "show up". This is your opportunity to say "This is me; this is how I work". Ask if you can meet with other new joiners.
  • Create a plan, own that plan and continuously review it. Build on what you have learnt through the recruitment process in relation to the expectations of what is needed in the role, from your manager, from the company. Who do you need to meet? Your team, key stakeholders, your peers, who else in the business?  Gather information, analyse what you have gathered and learnt from it, before sharing some initial quick wins. It is important to balance learning with impact; that you are visible and that you take people with you.
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Here are a few things for you to consider if you are an organisation recruiting at this point in time:
  • How will you create that sense of attachment/belonging with new employees?  "If there is no emphasis on attachment, it is easier to change jobs, emotionally", says Bob Sutton, an organisational psychologist and professor at Stanford university.
  • What can you do to ensure new employees joining remotely do not feel detached or isolated?
  • How will you onboard new employees, who may need something slightly different?
  • How can you ensure a new employee has clarity on what is expected of them and understands the purpose of their role and how it contributes to their team/department, the wider business?
  • What do you have in place to create those "coffee-machine conversations"; to make new employees feel connected socially?  How do you ensure as a line manager that you get to know your new team member?
The world of work, hybrid working, whatever we choose to call it, is itself in transition and one which I believe will continue and change over a period of time to come. 

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Realise: That in any transition the greatest stumbling block is where both parties' expectations are not aligned; 
Aspire: As both parties in this contract to think differently and ask more questions; and
Do: Prepare, create a plan and continually review it and check in with your line manager to ensure the expectations of both are being met.

Blog Posts

  • “If you do what you’ve always done; you’ll get what you’ve always got”
    This old adage is so true whether applied to recruitment methods, meetings or retaining talent to name but a few areas.

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  • One of the positives of the pandemic is that there is no longer the monopoly on leadership due to position.
  • I have previously written about "Belonging - what does this mean to you?" (http://j-w-c.co.uk/blog-display/293). I want to now build on this and consider it from a team's perspective and what it means if you are a manager leading a team currently.
  • Earlier this year, I completed my Mental Health First Aider Training (MHFA) England, something I had wanted to do for a little while.
  • Recently, I was delivering the "First 90 Days in your New Role" for LHH. This is a workshop which generates great discussion around helping people who are still interviewing to find their next appropriate opportunity and to think about how they would answer this question at interview.
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