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Coming Up to Speed On a New Team

Despite high-tech firms' attempts to bolster employee retention with perks like free lunches, foosball tables, and massages, tenure, averaging 1-2 years, still needs to improve. I could turn this into an article about why this is still a problem and what we might do to fix it, but for now, let's operate on the fact as it is and talk about what we can do about it.

Given that our teams will have regular personnel changes, we need to deal with people coming up to speed. Most organizations have standard onboarding programs, and some teams have them too. Does your team have an onboarding process?

How well-documented is your process? Do you get feedback from every new team member who uses it? Are you continually updating and refining it as your practices change? If the answer to these questions is "no," don't beat yourself up! You're not alone.

Coming up to speed is a multidimensional endeavor. Consider:

  1. Technical skills

  2. New Tools

  3. Communication Strategies & Tactics

  4. Product Philosophy and Market Positioning

  5. Corporate Culture

  6. Team Culture

  7. Trust

There is a lot to unpack here. When I started this article, I thought I'd unpack it here, but I will need to turn this into a series as I think through what that means. There's just too much!

You must address these seven aspects to effectively bring a new team member up to speed. Leaving one component behind means a gaping hole in their ability to operate at peak performance.

In the following seven articles, I will break down each of these and provide some tools and ideas for ensuring that you address them in your ongoing onboarding processes.

One of the foundations of agile philosophy is that teams and individuals are empowered. Take a moment to unpack the word "empowered." It should be clear that filling in the gaps in your onboarding process is crucial in progressing toward peak performance. Stay tuned!

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