Starting off Right with New Colleagues

July 19, 2016

Coffee_Meeting

Beginning a new job at a new organization is an exciting time in your career. It can also be intimidating going in as the ‘new person’. We’ve suggested a few tactics for the first week, first month, and first three months to help you develop strong and trusting relationships with your new colleagues. Building these relationships early on will help you to feel a better sense of belonging and will help you in your work. Good relationships lead to trust, open communication and good teamwork which in turn contributes to the overall success of the organization.  

First Week on the Job 

During your first week on the job, there are several strategies that you can engage in to ensure that you begin to build a good rapport with colleagues through your workplace communication. Some strategies include: 

  • Introducing yourself to other team members 

  • Learning and remembering your immediate teammates' names 

  • Identifying what roles various individuals play in the organization 

  • Finding out how the larger department or unit is structured 

  • Determining how team members prefer to communicate 

  • Trying to establish who your go-to person is 

First Month on the Job 

Here are some effective strategies for earning your acceptance by colleagues as well as some behaviour you should avoid in your first month on the job: 

  • Observe and learn from others 

  • Listen to others actively and attentively 

  • Demonstrate that you understand the unspoken rules 

  • Try to earn respect or acceptance from established group members by demonstrating your competence and congeniality 

  • Ask questions and try to learn as much as possible about the company and your colleagues  

Three Months on the Job 

Once you hit the three-month mark at your new job, you will likely have developed relationships with your colleagues. At this point, you should feel like you’re part of the team and understand the dynamics. Try some of these strategies to further develop these new relationships: 

  • Initiate a social interaction with one of your team members (for example, lunch or coffee) 

  • Openly contribute ideas to the team in a diplomatic and polite way 

  • Learn to be a little more self-sufficient 

  • Offer your help on projects and assignments where you think you can contribute your expertise 

When building new relationships in a workplace, consider that your hard skills or technical skills and experience are likely sufficient, otherwise, you would not have been hired for the position. You will need to prove that you have effective soft skills. Demonstrate that you can interact and communicate effectively and this will help to support your success at a new organization

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