A strong technology department has many components that need to work together harmoniously to be successful. Two of these main components are the actual technology itself and the people who install, operate and maintain it.
Finding the right people to staff a technology department is challenging. The work really begins, though, once a viable candidate has been identified. The new hire has to be oriented to the company, department, personnel, workspace, equipment, etc. If this process is not done properly it can severely hinder a new employee’s ability to acclimate to the work environment and develop a synergy with the team. This is especially true if the new employee is taking on the role of manager.
I utilize a three part approach when bringing on new management hires that quickly integrates the new manager with the company, team and workspace(s).
The first day the new manager reports to work, a carefully planned agenda for the day has been planned. The day starts with a One-on-One meeting to welcome the new manager to the company, a review of the agenda, and what can be expected, then a more in-depth tour of the facility and introductions to key personnel.
Upon completion of the One-on-One, we meet with the new manager’s direct reports for introductions. This is an informal meeting of introductions and a time for me to iterate confidence in the new manager and set expectations for everyone. This part of the process usually lasts until right before lunch – at this point I send the new manager with his team off to a team lunch meeting.
I believe this first team lunch meeting is crucial to the initial development of cohesiveness between the team and the manager. This is the first instance where the team and the manager are meeting without my input or influence – the team can speak openly with the manager and vice-versa.
The last part of the process is to ensure that the new manager’s workspace is ready and completely furnished with supplies & equipment, and that an appointment with the Human Resources Department has been made. New employees are interested in integrating themselves into the company culture quickly. Getting all of the paperwork, ID card pictures, forms, etc., out of the way is an important part of this process. A first day meeting with the HR Department also shows the new manager that we want their personal concerns met as well.
Having the new manager’s office setup and ready to go shows the manager that they are welcome to the company and that time was taken to ensure their workspace is ready. It also sends a signal to the new manager that we expect them to hit the ground running.
Starting off on the right foot by showing the new employee they are welcome and valuable to the company can go a long way in ensuring a successful relationship between the employer and employee. Quick and unencumbered integration with the team help in building a strong team which leads to a more harmonious and efficient department.
Paul Parrie is the Associate Vice President of Technology at the National WWII Museum in New Orleans, LA. Paul has over 25 years experience in Broadcast Media, Information Technology, and Media Creation.