Acceuil Insights Being Adaptable: Integrating Smoothly Into a New Work Environment

Being Adaptable: Integrating Smoothly Into a New Work Environment

5 mins read
Brendan Veney

Starting a new job can be thrilling, but also nerve-wracking. Even if you’ve had the same job title, every workplace has its own unique environment and culture. The key to quickly finding your footing during the onboarding process is to remain adaptable and embrace change. But what exactly does that mean and how does that apply? Brendan Veney, Talent Acquisition Associate and Canadian Lead at Inizio Engage has helped his fair share of employees as they’ve started at our company and said it all boils down to flexibility.

“Embracing change and adaptability when starting a new job at a new company means being open to unfamiliar challenges, being ready to learn, and willing to evolve with the evolving environment. Success as a new employee hinge on proactive curiosity, a growth mindset, and a commitment to collaboration. It’s about not just fitting into the company culture, but actively shaping it with your unique contributions,” Brendan said.

Brendan suggested five key strategies to utilize when starting a new role.

1. Observe and Engage

Pay close attention to the workplace culture, norms, and dynamics from your very first day onwards. Notice how people interact, the unwritten rules of the office, and make note of the company values. Are employees’ collaborative and social? Is the environment quieter and more focused? Then align your behavior with the norms as much as possible. You want to mesh well with the environment rather than stick out negatively. A prime example of this would if on your first day, you notice that employees often gather in open workspaces to discuss projects, and there’s a strong emphasis on open communication and idea sharing.

“This isn’t to say to lose your unique, diverse perspective that got you the job, but to contribute to this culture, you should try to actively participate in these discussions, share your thoughts, and make an effort to be approachable and open to feedback,” Brendan said.

2. Ask Questions

Don’t be shy about asking questions during onboarding, even if something seems like a basic thing you “should” already know. It’s better to ask right away rather than move ahead making incorrect assumptions. Some good questions to ask: How do meetings normally run? How should I prioritize tasks and projects? What is the best way to communicate key updates? Asking questions shows you want to understand the workplace. A good example of this would be if you have a meeting with your supervisor to discuss one or a couple of your first projects that you will be working on. Instead of assuming how tasks are prioritized, you proactively ask questions such as:

  1. “How do meetings usually run here? Is there a specific format or agenda I should be aware of?”
  2. “Could you provide guidance on how tasks and projects are typically prioritized within the team?”
  3. “What’s the preferred method for communicating key updates or sharing progress on projects?”

By asking these questions, you demonstrate your commitment to understanding the workplace and its processes, ensuring that you align with your team’s expectations and contribute effectively to your projects from the start. This proactive approach can prevent misunderstandings and help you integrate smoothly into your new team.

3. Seek Feedback

Check in regularly with your manager during the first few weeks and months. Ask for feedback on how you are doing, if you are meeting expectations, and whether there are areas you should focus more on. Receiving constructive feedback will allow you to course correct quickly if needed. You might say “I want to make sure I’m on the right track. Do you feel I’m integrating well into the team so far?” Or “Can you provide specific examples of things I’ve done well in my role so far?” Or, “Are there any areas where you feel I could improve or work on my performance?”

“That way you know very early on what’s working well and what you might need to focus more of your attention on to correct before it might be too late,” Brendan said.

4. Stay Organized

Onboarding can be overwhelming with lots of new information coming your way. Make sure to take thorough notes during training sessions. Also ask about any processes related to your role and document them in a way that makes sense to you. Having detailed notes to refer to will help the workplace culture and processes sink in more smoothly.

“As someone that has worked with the company for some time, I can attest that it is easiest to start organized than to scramble when things get busy. Start good organization habits early,” Brendan said.

5. Embrace New Ways

Even if you’ve done a job for years, be open to learning new ways of doing things. Each workplace has its own processes, tools, and programs they prefer. Rather than insisting on doing tasks your old way, embrace the new tools you are being trained on. You may pick up better ways of doing your job!

Starting a new job requires an openness to change and a willingness to adapt. Pay attention, ask questions, seek feedback, and maintain an organized system. By integrating smoothly, you’ll build trust and positive relationships right off the bat. Before you know it, you’ll feel comfortable and confident in your new workplace environment.

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