“For many people a job is more than an income – it’s an important part of who we are. So a career transition of any sort is one of the most unsettling experiences you can face in your life.”
As a consultant, I’ve had many new roles at many different organisations in different countries and different cultures over the years. So I guess you could say that I don’t find the transition to be a terribly unsettling experience.
However, this multitude of transitions has given an opportunity to experience transition techniques that have worked well and others that have not.
The most common technique is to leave the new starter to their own devices, allow them to transition themselves by osmosis and to get quietly annoyed when they’re asking lots of questions.
There is the common assumption that an experienced person will just slot straight into the new organisation without any guidance. But the OctopOSS is always vastly different between organisations, all the way down to the differences in terminologies used. It is incumbent on the hiring organisation to accelerate the transition.
OSS workers are regularly overwhelmed by their own workload / deadlines and struggle to make time for the new starter. I’ve always been a believer that if I take a short-term hit to my workload and “over-allocate” time with the new starter in the first few days and weeks, they will normally get up to speed faster and they are less of a “burden” over the longer term. The faster they’re up to speed, the earlier they become valuable contributors or even workload sharers.
As line managers in the OSS, more than any other I’ve worked in, it is essential to define an initiation plan and a structured learning plan for new starters that includes people, process, tools, technologies and terminologies.
What techniques do you use to on-board new starters?