Navigating the Transition: How to Foster a Welcoming Work Culture
Change. What does this word mean to you? Is change a good or bad thing?
There inevitably arrives a time in every individual’s career when they must confront change. For me, this happened recently. I graduated from university, returned home, and embarked on a fresh career path here at MacPhie. And I was scared! But, the change was far less intimidating than I anticipated. In fact, the daunting transition from school to the workforce actually went smoother than I could have ever imagined.
The trick? A supportive and welcoming culture. Yes, it is that simple.
Here are some best practices to build a supportive organizational culture and enable individual growth:
“No Question is a Dumb Question”
When starting at a new company, individuals are often afraid of asking “silly” questions, for fear of being perceived as unknowledgeable. But this can lead new hires to feel confused and stressed, making it hard for them to participate in team discussions or understand what’s being asked of them.
This can be avoided and it starts with one simple thing— instill a “no question is a dumb question” principle in your company. This promotes a more welcoming environment for new employees, as it encourages them to ask about anything, no matter how minor it may seem, such as asking for the meaning of acronyms or the definitions of unfamiliar terms. This will aid in the employees transition into the company, as they begin to feel more comfortable and confident asking questions.
Make Time For Bonding
Onboarding can be a tough time. New employees may become overwhelmed trying to adapt to a new work environment, while also sorting through an abundance of information. And while videos and information packages are valuable, these tools are missing a crucial element— team bonding.
Here at MacPhie, we use our onboarding videos to provide context for our new hires on our organizational goals, culture, and services we provide. In addition, however, we book one on one welcome chats with every new hire’s direct team to provide them with a chance to introduce themselves, get to know each other on a more personal level, and ask any questions they have. This enhances team bonding, and in turn leads to a more supportive work culture.
Advocate for Mentorship
A strong mentee-mentor relationship can help create an enriching environment for a new hire. A mentor can engage in meaningful discussions regarding a new employee’s goals and strengths, and help surface opportunities that align with their interests. Ultimately, a good mentor provides guidance and emotional support. When onboarding a new employee, make them aware of any mentorship programs your organization offers or how to get a mentor. A mentor could be a colleague or an external individual, so long as it’s someone who is genuinely invested in the individual’s growth and success. To facilitate this, it is beneficial for organizations to offer training to their team members on how to be effective coaches and mentors.
With all this being said, change can be exciting! Embarking on a career journey with a company surrounded by encouraging colleagues who foster personal growth will steer you toward the correct course.
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