A couple of weeks ago I was dancing the night away at our friends Paul and Kym’s incredible wedding, and the band (Hand Fulla Soul) were just fantastic!  They played the crowd and delivered a top-notch set; every member of the band worked together, playing to their strengths to generate something special.

It really was a master-class in teamwork.

A few songs in, and one of the groom’s mates asked to sing with them: James Brown’s ‘I Feel Good’.  Quite a feat, eh?  But this guy (the somewhat legendary Lanre) absolutely nailed it.  The really impressive thing for me was how well he ‘fit’; bantering with the band as if he’d been singing with them for years.

Anyone who’s ever tried to integrate a newbie into an established and high-performing team will know that it’s not always so seamless.  So I’ve tried to unpick what it was about this particular example that made it all work so well.  Here goes:

Take a chance on me – the ‘team’ were relaxed about the new guy and therefore prepared to take a risk to see what he could do.

Support – once they’d got the measure of his skills, they clearly reveled in making the most of them.

A healthy ‘team-ego’ – the band stepped-back and were happy for Lanre to have the limelight; recognising that the bigger picture was about a happy crowd, not who got the glory.

Cultural fit – soul-guy meets soul band; this ‘meeting of minds’ resulted in an easy rapport and a cohesive product.

Onboarding guides always talk about the crucial first 90 days, but the first week, or even day, sets the tone and forms our initial impressions of how we’re going to fit in ‘around here’.  To get the best from new employees managers need to get this right from selection-day onwards, and fully include their teams as key stakeholders in the successes of their new colleagues.

So here’s this month’s call to action:

– How does your team welcome new starters into the fold?  If you were the newbie recently, how did you feel?

– Let us know if we can support you and your team with selection, psychometric testing, induction design or teambuilding – we’d love to help!