Too many leaders discount or ignore two of the most critical times for your team – when new people join your team and when team members leave. Both of these are normal parts of organizational life. People come and people go for a variety of reasons.
The key question you need to ask as a leader is: are you being intentional about how you say hello and how you say good-bye? Ignoring these entry and exit points may be impacting your organization’s success more than you know.Are you being intentional about how you say hello and how you say good-bye to team members? Click To Tweet
Here are 5 key ways to say hello to new people on your team:
- Team interview or team meetings.
It is good for potential new team members to have interaction with several different parts of your organization to understand the culture and the connection between different areas. The more people that are engaged in a new team member hire, the more the team will embrace and support their success.
- A 30-day on-boarding plan.
Key documents to read, people to meet, books to read. A new team member should have a proactive plan on day one to help them accelerate their success on the team. This plan will help an individual get up to speed on conversations already taking place on your team.
- An opportunity to meet key leaders.
I am amazed how many new team members will go months before even speaking to a top leader. This is dangerous. You want team members to quickly own the vision and mission of your organization and the best way to do that is to hear from top leaders. If you are in a large organization, you should have in place a new employee orientation that should include at least one executive leader. Informal dialogue with leaders to engage on mission, strategy, challenges, and opportunities are powerful for new team member success. New team members need a chance to formally and informally hear the vision and mission of the organization.
- An assigned mentor or coach.
Assign every new team member one or two people (besides their immediate manager) to provide informal help, a safe place to ask questions, take to lunch, to show them around, etc. Every organization has its own unique culture and new team members need someone to help them become fully integrated in the culture. Also, organizations have their own language that often needs a translator!
- 6 month check-up or check-in.
It is good to have someone do a more formal check in after six months to make sure things are going well. Check to see if the employee is fully integrated and succeeding well in their new role, developing in their knowledge of the organization, and still feel good about joining your team. If intervention is needed, you don’t want to wait longer than six months to adjust for success.
Every organization will have people leave. It is normal. People leave for a variety of reasons and it is critical to end well if at all possible with those that leave your team. It is important for those leaving but it is even more important for those that are staying.People leave your organization for a variety of reasons and it is critical to end well. Click To Tweet
5 key ways to say good-bye to people who leave your team:
- Walk toward the person leaving.
You make the first contact when you hear someone is leaving. Pick up the phone and call them or go by to see them. The sooner the better. Don’t avoid this individual no matter what your emotions are about them leaving. It is critical for your team that you handle well this person’s exit. Trust me. Others on your team will be watching.
- Communicate openly about the exit.
It is critical to get an agreed upon statement out about the exit as soon as possible after the decision to exit has been made. I recommend personal communication to the teams most connected to the individual leaving and an agreed upon email sent to the broader team connected.
- Be as positive as you can about the exit.
Unless there is an ethical or moral failure, there is something positive to say. No matter why this individual has left, they have made a contribution to your team. Celebrate and acknowledge that contribution publicly. Wish them success in the new place they will serve.
- Do an exit interview.
Some of your best learning as a leader happens in an exit interview. If there is a healthy exit, the employee will be open with you about things that have gone well and about recommendations for improvement. This may be some of the most valuable insight you will gain on your own leadership, culture, and overall organization.
- An open thank you event.
A team break, breakfast, lunch or an open acknowledgement at a team meeting. Whatever works, there should be a time to say openly thank you to this individual in a way that honors them and also honors the team. Whenever possible, it is good to have a special prayer time asking God’s blessing on them as they leave the team.
“The Lord will protect your coming and going both now and forever.” Psalm 121:8The Lord will protect your coming and going both now and forever. Psalm 121:8 Click To Tweet
Have you had a positive hello or a positive goodbye on a team? What made the difference?