Welcome on Board - The Human Touch

In every business there are highly skilled individuals, who excel at their job, succeed where others fail and get results - in short they are 'born leaders'. Or are they?

On the downside, many of these same individuals leave a trail of bewildered colleagues behind them. Unsure of the part they played in success and not sure if their contributions were recognised, the team dissipates in lackluster fashion with no zest for the next venture.

Once a project is over, it's all to late to put things right - a celebratory drink at the 'local' will do little to restore confidence. As with most things in life, the best place to start is at the beginning.

Some tips ...

Grab their attention from the start - signal that they are becoming part of something important and that the skills, experience and knowledge they possess are recognised, valued and wanted!

Speak to each person to invite him or her on to the project. In this discussion describe the goal, how this project contributes to the business and where their contribution is most sought in its delivery.

Make sure you have drafted a Project Contract. This is a formal contract between the project team and the business defining what will be delivered to the business, by when and what the business will provide the team to enable this delivery.

Write to each individual confirming their selection to the project and what it could involve. Enclose the project contract, even if it is not complete.

Circulate the team contact sheet detailing who is on the team and their contact points. If the team operates across time zones it can save time and facilitate communication to clarify exactly what these time differences are

Ask them if they have any questions or concerns which you could assist with. Show the same level of commitment to them that you want in return.

Be explicit as possible about their likely time commitment to the project and when this would be required. Check how this fits with their other work commitments, holidays etc. It is better to know from the start what time and attention can and will be given than to find this out once they are installed on the team.

If you are not their Line Manager then treat their Line Manager as a key project stakeholder. Make sure they understand and can commit to this person's time on the project. Leave them with the refreshing experience that you want to fully account for their needs and concerns regarding the employee's time and will seek out win-wins for all three parties. Thank them for their release of the person onto the project.

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