Build relationships, not sand castles

We’ve all been there. When you start a new role, there’s so much to be done, but where do you start? This isn’t an exhaustive list, but some things will be on your agenda, which could include:

  • Working out priorities
  • Understanding who the influencers are
  • Meeting all stakeholders and understand their role in the organisation
  • Impressing your line manager/director
  • Bedding in with your team
  • Understanding the culture “how they do things”.

Of these, building relationships with stakeholders; internal and external, will be, in our opinion your number one priority. It sets the tone and builds foundations on your role with the firm.  Putting it directly; the value of building relationships can’t be underestimated. Why? Better working relationships lead to enhanced understanding, better decision making, communication and, most importantly, will make you happier and more confident.

Here are some top tips to help you develop by working better with those around you:

Set expectations with your line manager
When you start, sitting down with your line manager to understand – from their point of view – where they want you to focus will help immeasurably. Listen to them on who you should influence and make a beeline for. Boundaries need to be set.

Working with your new team

As the new person in the team, your colleagues will be keen to see what you can deliver. There will be an element of suspicion and guarded caution towards you; take advantage of the fact that when you start, you are not overly burdened with work.

Where appropriate, offer your experience to the tasks your colleagues are working on. Make sure you are invited to offer your point of view. Your objectivity – having not been involved to date – could be fruitful to your colleagues.

Make time for everybody, not just the senior stakeholders
Increasingly, more junior members of staff’s opinion on your performance and approach will be considered, especially towards the end of the probation period. That’s why it’s important to make time for your colleagues as well as those more senior, whom previously could have been all-powerful. By establishing yourself as a reliable and respectful member of the team among all your colleagues, as well those more senior, will assist your journey in the business.

Meeting etiquette
At the start of your career in your new role in a new business, you’re likely to be invited to various meetings to help you get up to speed, but also hear your point of view. After all, you’ve been recruited for your abilities and experience. There’s a careful balance in meetings. You’ll earn the respect of your peers with thoughtful, insightful comments that offer value to the meetings. Take advantage of these early days where slack is given to the new employee. Take an active part in the meetings, not just for the sake of it, listen and offer constructive ideas.

If in a meeting, you turn the spotlight on yourself with lots of unsavoury or inappropriate comments, your respect will quickly ebb away. Use your common sense.

Don’t become the office gossip
Constructively understanding your colleagues is good, rumour mongering or wading into politics that don’t concern you is not helpful. Office banter is one thing, jokes and gossiping behind someone’s back is childish and should obviously be avoided, at all costs.

At MRK Associates, we pride ourselves on the advice we provide requested by candidates and employers. If you have a specific question, please get in touch with the team on 01442 894555 or email: info@mrkassociates.co.uk

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