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Over the course of my career, I have had the opportunity to lead various Web design and development teams, including a number of professionals fresh out of school. Along the way, I’ve made my share of mistakes and learned some valuable lessons.

Some new team members have jumped right in and begun contributing in a meaningful way almost immediately, and others have struggled to adjust to their new role because I failed as a leader and didn’t give them the tools they needed to succeed. One thing I’ve definitely learned is that the success of a new team member is determined not only by their own abilities and drive, but by the leadership on the team they are joining.

Recently, I was preparing to welcome a young new designer to our company. This position would be his first real experience working in our industry; so, prior to his start date, I decided to make a list of some of those lessons I’ve learned over the years as a way to remind myself of what I needed to do to make sure he had the resources needed to succeed here. As I wrote my list, I realized that many of these lessons were actually common sense — and yet, if my past experiences are any indication, these common-sense lessons are exactly the ones that are easy to neglect and that we often need to be reminded of.

Joining a company can be an intimidating experience, especially if the company has a close-knit culture or the team has been together for some time — two factors that contribute to new employees feeling like outsiders. As a leader, you can make your new team member feel welcome by showing them, both in actions and in words, that they are absolutely now a member of the team.

If your website lists biographies and pictures of employees, make it a point to add the new team member’s information quickly. Even in organizations that have a “probationary period” to evaluate new hires, those employees should still be added to the website sooner than later. Having a presence on the website, alongside their colleagues, demonstrates to those new team members that they are a part of the group.

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Comments 5

7 June 2014 Reply

Thank you so much for putting this together Jeremy. Most of these seem like common sense but it is amazing how many times I see new employees having the worst days of their life because managers/leaders don’t want to be “bothered” with the new guy.

7 June 2014 Reply

I would add under “keep the busy” to make sure that every team member is aware of the new team member starting, and even thought the first 1-2 days may be meet and greats, to have them up with access to everything they need to preform their tasks.

7 June 2014 Reply

How can any of this go without being said? Shouldn’t it be common sense? Or are my colleagues and I just absurdly lucky?
Or maybe, who’s hiring such bad leaders to begin with? High employee-turnover should be a sign that it’s time to re-evaluate leadership.

7 June 2014 Reply

I really appreciate your points as these are the things that lay down thew foundation of a great business not only in the web sector but in every sector and leadership is the most important of all these. As the saying goes” A group of donkeys led by a lion can defeat a group of lions led by a donkey”

1 November 2014 Reply

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