You’ve got a great team and the results are starting to show – better productivity, cohesion and performance. As a result of the success of the team, they have grown and been given more autonomy and responsibilities. But all good things need to come to an end as at some point the only way forward is to expand the team. But introducing new individuals to an existing team dynamic can cause the team to falter rather than soar to new heights.
A new dimension
The existing team will be comfortable with their status quo, introducing a new member can disrupt the natural flow. The team will be wary of the newcomer and tend to stick to what is familiar until they get used to the new order, which can take time and should not be left to chance. To speed up the integration the existing team needs to know in advance who the newcomer is, their skillset and what role they are expected to play in forging a new team.
Before the new member joins the team begin making it clear which tasks the new individual will be expected to take over or handle. So while the existing team is still currently performing those selected tasks they are aware that the will be a hand over. This will reduce the perceived threat that a new addition has upon joining the team.
Marking the territory
When the new member arrives they will look to carve out a space for themselves that is theirs. Have an induction program ready to show the new team member the ropes. Allocate some space for them so there is no confusion as to where they are supposed to stake out their claim in the work environment.
Reforming the team
The old team is no more and a new team must rise to surpass the old teams past performance. Early success is the key to instilling the right attitudes and work relationships. Focus on rewarding the small achievements for the whole team and not just the newest member. Use Team Building activities as a tool to mold, guide and monitor the forming of the new team. Team Building will highlight possible causes for concern in the team that can be corrected in a controlled environment before they damage the unity of the team.