You have landed the job you had pursued with diligence and excitement – and now you are actually starting work in this new role. You want to perform with energy and excellence. You will need to make your acquaintance with new faces and communicate with different levels.
For the initial uncertain stages of what to expect, how to start something new, and how to be productive from day one, here is a communication checklist to build a solid foundation for long-term success in all job opportunities.
start before ‘day one’
The groundwork for a smooth start can happen before your first day on the job. You may send a mail to your manager (you may have been introduced to him/her in your final interview – or you may request the information the talent acquisition team) to get recommendations for initial preparation. What are the best reading materials on the company and its products? Is there any paperwork you can fill out in advance to save time in your first few days? Where and when exactly should report on your first day? Different organizations have different practices, so a proactive head start will be an advantage – especially with infrastructure set-up, access to networks, and getting acquainted with key company support functions.
the advantage of a comprehensive organizational tour
Your orientation guide will most probably include a tour of the organizational chart. However, spending time and corresponding with your manager and senior colleagues will set an engaging foundation to work with them. The first few days will rush by, and soon you will no longer be a newcomer – you will be expected to adeptly manage relationships for your individual and team productivity. The other advantage in starting this exercise early is that people will be more inclined and happier to answer the basic questions to a new joinee.
In all this, ensure you follow your manager’s lead. They may have budgeted both the time and effort for your initial settling days – you will do well to enthusiastically comply with it.
know how to communicate with your manager
This is crucial to your happiness in your new role. Take time to understand your manager’s persona and personality. How does she prefer to communicate? In person, emails, calls, texting, and messaging…? As a new hire, you enjoy a certain leeway in your acclimatization period – make the best use of it to learn as much about your manager and colleagues. Getting this new manager equation is critical – both for you and your manager.
Do not wait for your manager to reach you for a meeting. Take it as your responsibility to proactively check in – with your perspectives, report of feedback as may be required. This way, you can also obtain regular and real-time feedback on what you are doing or need to do – this will serve as effective course correction for your future success. It also tells your manager about your willingness and openness to learn and improve.
reach across the organization
Get to know your organization through your manager. Ask for introductions and pursue them with diligence to enhance your team brand and your manager’s brand. Know the organization chart thoroughly – and work closely with your manager to understand the nuances of connectivity of your team with the other groups and functions in your company.
In so doing, do make sure that you authentically spell out the benefits to your manager and his team in engaging with the different functions and departments.
the right handshake – internally and externally
Your positive communication skills must extend to your team too. This will be a mix of the formal one to one meetings and emails, and the informal and relaxed colleagueship through daily interactions, and coffee and lunch gatherings. Take the first step in reaching out to them and do not expect them to include you immediately. In building collegial rapport, adjust your personal behavioral and communication style to align with your stakeholders’ needs
On an individual level, spend a few minutes every day with everyone at your new IT job. This will help in getting assimilated into the team, know the organization history and senior management, provide insights into your manager’s ways of working and expectations. In any communication with peers, make sure that you talk positive about the company and your manager. Do not descend anywhere near the gossip level.
Once you are comfortable with your internal network, turn to your external networks. Update your profile according to your new role. Reach out to relevant external contacts to inform them of your new position. Join and establish communication channels with relevant professional associations and networks.
The first three months in a job is the time to focus exclusively on understanding your work, workplace, colleagues, and leaders. Communication plays a ‘make-or-break’ role in navigating the organization and its politics. Use your communication, observation and listening skills to learn and understand your company’s culture, hierarchy, and unwritten rules.