How New Hires Can Quickly Adapt To The Office

by Guest Author on April 3, 2013

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The following is a guest post by Kyle O’Brien.

Image via Adecco

Image via Adecco

With every new changing of the guard with a career, one must get used to becoming a fresh face again. And in a new environment, no less. There’s a ton of information to reacquaint yourself with. New faces to memorize. New work routes to wrestle. But above all else, there’s sometimes a sense of urgency to have to master everything all at once, an act that does nothing but cause unneeded stress and confusion for the first week or two.

Being the new kid on the block should be broken down into an art form. From memorizing every last syllable on the company syllabus, to getting acquainted with as many employee training processes as possible, here’s a guideline on how to impress and take charge of your new role over time.

Let’s call it new hire training “wins.”

Don’t Feel Like You Need To Dominate The Lunch Chatter

Not that you should ever do this at the beginning, middle and end of any job, but sometimes as new hires, we get the nervous jitters (which is OK) and start talking endless streams right out the gate. Nerves can sometimes mean we get a sense that we need to unveil everything to every coworker about what makes us special, what interests we have, how our sports teams are doing, etc. within the first few days. And that routine ultimately becomes a new hire training “fail”. It’s also been know to make the list of coworker annoyances…

Thing is, you can be a social butterfly at the beginning, middle, and end of a job if you’re asking more questions than you are divulging information about yourself. It’s okay to feel nervous about asking the “20 questions” to your coworkers. They’ll ask about your interests, what it is you do here, and the rest. Think of it this way: like the Roman Coliseum, employee chemistry isn’t built in a day, so don’t force the issue.

Never Assume You Know What Works

The headline seems a little quirky, but the message is true: don’t assume every process around the office is a given. Being humble about not understanding something is okay and is one of the easiest, most rewarding ways to establish a connection with those around the workplace. Think of it as a way of receiving feedback on how well you are adjusting, ultimately finding out what needs to be improved, etc. And you can’t get the feedback you need by thinking everything in the office is a complete cakewalk.

Embrace Training As Best As You Can

One of the most crucial elements of new hire training is the training itself. Seems easy enough, no? Well, not quite. Whether you’re talking about companies staffed with 50 or 500+ employees, there’s bound to be a stream of training regimens put into action. And we’re not just talking the basics of new hire training where they receive the standard paperwork spanning payroll, taxes, insurance and other compliance forms. Those are important, but the other side of the training coin revolves around continued education segments for not just the new hire to understand, but also the entire office. Things like sets of training videos on new hire training itself all the way down to ways to instruct entire departments to hone their project management skills.

Which is where technology comes into play. Depending on whether or not your new workplace has a set of training methods in store, such as built-out custom eLearning videos congruent to your department or job skill, it’s important that new hires fully entrench themselves into as many training videos as possible, and not just for the first month, but well off into the remaining year and then some. Just like the previous area focused on not assuming you know everything, this one’s all about making concerted efforts to educate yourself further with every new video segment or lesson on the latest software to come into the office.

Don’t Compare How Things Were At Your Old Job

It’s very tempting to bring up how things went with your previous job. It’s fine to mention the positives with what you accomplished, who you worked with, and so forth. But don’t turn that into a routine where, every so often, you’re mentioning the dreaded, “well at my old job, we did it this way”. Your team doesn’t want to hear that at every turn. Maybe once or twice is good. But to the point it becomes your own routine every Friday at lunch? That’ll get old really quick and hinder your team-building efforts with every one at the office.

Concentrate on how things are going currently with your new job. Past work experiences should be reserved beyond the office property line. That’s a new hire training 101 tip to its core.

These strategies may not seem that elaborate, but the reality is many new hires are nervous at the onset of any new job. And through the nerves, we sometimes try to supplant that by trying too much, too fast with certain office proceedings. You could make a case for other ways to adjust to your new role, but more than anything, a great way to take to workplace is to be yourself, be curious about the unknown, and how to solve it with your coworkers. Cultivate coworker relationships and understand that we’re all working to be productive members for our business’ end goals.

About the Author: 

Kyle O’Brien is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to a host of business blogs, covering a range of topics from startup tips to employee motivation.  He’s the community manager for an e-Learning company, ej4, which creates short, effective training videos to help foster performance improvement at the workplace.

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