HBR has some excellent advice on Get Immediate Value from Your New Hire:
- Start Early: Start as early as possible in the process to expose your new hire to the organization’s or unit’s culture and to explain how work gets done.
- Get Them The Right Network: The first thing a manager can do is ensure that the new hire understands how important the informal or ‘shadow’ organization is in getting things done
- Get Them Working: Giving them real work immerses them in the way things function at the organization. This doesn’t mean you should let them “sink or swim”; definitely provide the support they need.
This are useful reminders for both manager hiring new team members and team members getting involved in new organizations. My success in several organizations has been hampered by lack of understanding of informal / shadow networks. One interesting observation: Supervisors in companies with strong shadow organizations were much more reluctant to explain them! And some principles to Remember:
Do: Hire for cultural fit as much as for capabilities and skill; Introduce your new hire to ‘culture carriers’ and ‘nodes’; Explain how work actually gets done at your organization
Don’t: Let a new hire stay in ‘learning’ mode for too long; Assume your new hire can’t be productive from the start; Rely on the org chart to help explain lines of communication