Your new team member just DOESN’T FIT!

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When a new team member starts work for you there is usually a period of adjustment. They need time to understand how best to do their role within your environment and your team need time to get to know this new team member. However, problems can arise if they don’t fit in with your existing team… and this can lead to a tricky situation for everyone concerned, leading to disharmony in your team and a downturn in office productivity.

If you have a new team member that just doesn’t seem to be fit in with your team, they may be bull dozing other team members or just not listening to what is required of them or many other reasons, it may not necessarily be their fault. Consider the following before you make any decisions about their future with your company.

Team PlayerHave they had the opportunity to actually show who they are?

They may not have had the opportunity to meet the other team members properly, so initiate some informal ice breaker sessions with them and other team members. Give them the opportunity to let their personality show. It’s also worth checking that other team members are not reacting to pre-conceived notions of the new person that are based on gossip and hearsay.

Focus on work not personal life

Personality becomes less of a focus if the team are focused on work-related activities. Place the new team member with a work buddy or into a specific group and give them a chance to show what skills and abilities they have. Ensure they have the right tools and training for the tasks assigned to them – as this will enable them to feel more secure in their own abilities and knowledge of your company products and services.

Be patient

Are you and your existing team realistically giving this new person a chance to fit in? Integrating a new team member isn’t always something that can happen overnight, so give them time to adjust their behaviour and personality to fit in with their new surroundings.

team memberTalk to them

Find out how they feel about the situation. Do they struggle with meeting new people? Are they happy with their decision to work for you? Do they understand your company cultures and values? Are there particular team members who are aggravating the situation?

Adjust your recruitment strategy

Sometimes it isn’t necessarily something the new recruit is doing – it may be you hired the wrong type of person. Take a look over your recruitment strategy and check you are looking for both the relevant skills AND more importantly their values the right type of person for the job and environment. Have you hired a quiet person for a banter-filled noisy environment? Check that you are taking into account that their values are aligned with your company values as well as environment and the profile of the potential candidates.

Only once you have considered the above strategies can you then make a judgement call on whether to keep or let go of the person in question.

Have you been in a situation where a new team member didn’t fit in? What did you do to solve the problem – or did it settle down once you gave the team time to adjust? What procedures do you have in place to ensure new team members are given a fair chance? Why not share your experiences and thoughts in the comments box below?

Images courtesy of David Castillo Dominici & stock images/


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