I had an interesting conversation with someone who has just made a career change to become a Realtor. She described the extensive training that went into the process – courses online and in multiple cities, several tests and licensing in different jurisdictions.

I asked what surprised her and she had two answers: 1) that there was a lot of math, “as in a lot” and 2) when she finished, she still had not been taught how to do a listing. She could calculate the area of a plot of land and been tested on zoning regulations but was never shown how to put a property up for sale.

I think that our onboarding processes are sometimes like this – we get so caught up in explaining the big picture that we forget that new employees need to know the most mundane set of details as well: where do I get a key and ID, who do I call if I can’t make it into work, how do I buy things, what is the password for the computer, where do people eat lunch, etc. It is by understanding these small tasks that a new employee feels like they belong and are less of a rookie.

Even before they arrive, anticipate the questions a new staff member will have for Day 1: when should I arrive, where should I park, where should I go when I arrive, what is the typical dress code, what type of HR paperwork do I need to bring, do people eat lunch out or bring theirs in, etc.

If you find yourself in a new situation, the details are what help you build a solid foundation from which you can do the higher-level thinking. Don’t overlook the small stuff when welcoming someone new to your organization.

About the Author leadership dots by dr. beth triplett

I'm the chief connector at leadership dots where I serve as "the string" for individuals and organizations. Like stringing pearls together to make a necklace, "being the string" is an intentional way of thinking and behaving – making linkages between things that otherwise appear random or unconnected – whether that be supervising a staff, completing a dissertation or advancing a project in the workplace. I share daily leadership dots on my blog to provide examples of “the string” in action. I use the string philosophy through coaching, consulting and teaching to help others build capacity in themselves and their organizations. I craft analogies and metaphors that help people comprehend complex topics and understand their role in the system. My favorite work involves helping those new to supervision or newly promoted supervisors build confidence and learn the skills necessary to effectively lead their team.

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