I must admit to a strange feeling I have when leaving the United States to visit and work in other locations. I feel out-of-place. I don’t speak the language, I don’t know the culture. I am forced to explore and watch, like a child, looking for non-verbal cues on how to proceed. Sometimes, based on my own poor planning, I am not even sure if they will take my money (Hence the feature image).
Travelling to another culture is one thing but imagine how our new hires feel at our companies. They are in a new world. The language of business is different, the social norms are different, every short-cut and rule and expectation is changed. When we have new employees they are often lost in a sea of change and want to put the best foot forward.
Leaving a new-hire alone to face the frontier alone is not a great way to operate. Admittedly, people that just “are your culture” will shine. The rest however, these valuable people with valuable skills and great personalities and insight will be pushed aside and driven out. Is this what we want?
Recently, I have had success in pairing with new hires to coach them as they “grow” into their role. Using my experience having been in their possessions I get to help these people work through the challenge of fitting in and not feeling left out, alone, isolated, and without confidence in a new world. In a phrase, like myself at the bodega, I have been helping them, with success, say, “Shut up and take my money”!