New Employees Bring New Challenges

It’s difficult being new, but no matter how green to an industry you are, with the proper support and vigilance from those above, success is just around the corner.

Beginning a new job puts you through a multitude of emotions: it’s exciting to think of the possibilities, it’s intimidating to be forced to create new (and ideally meaningful) relationships, and it’s daunting to think of what may lay ahead. With the proper management, this combination of pressure and anticipation has the ability to foster rapid knowledge acquisition and encourage constant advancement. However, this represents a challenge for many parts of the leadership: what is the best way to inspire without micromanaging or getting in the way?

As a new employee, in a new field, I want to be able to show initiative and promptly accomplish my daily work in order to make good impressions. To achieve this, I need to navigate the company’s objectives and values, utilize the skills of my team, and take on as many challenges as I can manage. Beyond my control are an entirely other set of variables that can make or break my success as an employee; how our leadership chooses to empower each team directly influences our achievements. Many employers fail to prioritize the time and energy it takes to create an empowering workplace. Over my time at Synchronous I’ve observed several aspects in the work place that have encouraged me to step up and take on new challenges.

 

Inspire safe risk-taking

By creating an environment that encourages discussion around failures, employers break down many of the social norms that govern the contemporary workplace. I wouldn’t say I’m impulsive or reckless, but due to my history in my career I’ve learned how to be comfortable with the uncomfortable. Feeling safe to overcome aversion to risk should be a prioritization. Learning from our mistakes, talking about them, and refining strategies inspires people to continuously move forward. By avoiding constant critique from above and replacing it with constructive discussion, employees will feel free to develop ideas, regardless of the perceived risk.

Encourage open dialogue

While I am the newest part of our team, I’ve been fortunate to join a workplace where questions are encouraged. In a past career I was faced with a workplace which was governed by many top-down processes; I had a say, but never felt like much of an impact came from what I was saying. Nowadays, I’m optimistic that my opinion is valued and when I’m out of my element, I can ask for help. This freedom fosters growth on all levels of the corporate ladder, and engages employees to speak up, feel invested, and stay positive.

Offer sufficient context

Working with an employer who has been in the software business for over 30 years can at times be intimidating. Their experience is a major benefit for our clients, but translating that knowledge into manageable pieces which the newest employee is able to digest can be fraught with difficulties. To combat this, the directives and values of the organization must be communicated early and often. Knowing the big picture is important, but employees must also know the company rules that govern daily processes.

Remunerate personal growth

Maybe it’s due to my background in sport, or my generation’s need for a constant reward-based system, but its quite evident that with a clear goal and reward, I’m able to accomplish noticeably more. That said, beyond promotion within a career and the money that goes along with it, intrinsic incentive should be rewarded just as much. Being a self-starter takes encouragement from management and incentivizes your next generation of potential leaders. Initiative can be taught, but like when you’re learning any other skill, the proper amount of time and energy is required.

Personally, I value some of the attitudes my millennial peers hold towards the working world: I have a need for constant feedback, I would like my efforts to be appreciated, and I would prefer to work independently as much as depend on the team around me. It can be a precarious balance between managing generational differences, personalities, and working styles, but these tips can help cut through many of the psychological barriers we face in the workplace as employers and new members of the team.

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