In days of old, when a new employee joined your company there was a get-together with the work group for introductions. There were individual meetings and group sit downs to figure out how best to bring the new employee up to date. Schedules were developed so vendors and customers could meet their new contact. Everything was relatively smooth. Not now.
Today, when a new employee is brought into a remote work group, they may never meet in person their co-workers, vendors, customers or support personnel. What can you do to make the transition more effective? Here are some thoughts:
- Ask for a profile for each member in your group: A short bio with contact information, title, job responsibilities, length of time with the company and current job, prior history, and so on. You may find important connection points
- Ask for background information on customers: Key persons, decision makers, history of the company, issues of the past, concerns for the future, and expectations that the customer may have in the coming 6 to 12 months
- Ask for reading material to better prepare you for the assignment. Most organizations have research publications, marketplace information, industry trends, current issues or company financials
- Make contact with key people and clients before you start on the job. Introduce yourself and ask if there is any relevant information or impediments you need to know before starting. They will respect your interest in establishing a good working relationship. You’ll learn some things that will be helpful.
All of this material will help your first day on the job. You’ll feel more comfortable and confident for your entry into this new position. The more time with your new boss, the better. The next items focus on your early days on the job:
- Get your home office in good working order. Make sure your technology is in place and working as it should. Connect with your boss and office prior to your first group meeting to make sure you’re not the one holding up the team
- Ask the boss for a co-worker or a volunteer within your group who can best help you if and when needed. It could be the last new worker or a similar functionary
- After a week or so, contact your boss and team members individually to thank them for their patience and help during your transition. Ask them if there is anything you need to do differently. To quote Ben Franklin: “If you want to make a friend, ask them to help you”
- Periodically ask for feedback from the work group, the boss and customers. Focus on three areas: The Plan. The Expectations. The Results.
- Lastly, ask your boss for periodical performance reviews. Don’t wait for a yearly review. Constant feedback will make sure you’re on the right course and meeting the organizational expectation.
A new remote job can be worrisome. Planning and preparing for a smooth transition are the keys to success.
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