Congratulations, you got a new job. Problem is we’re still mostly working from home and your ability to be effective relies on you getting to know people, systems and processes. Once you’ve done the online compliance training, the IT induction and met the team virtually, how can you quickly build those internal networks of people and knowledge that are so critical?

Getting your feet under your new desk - even if it is the kitchen table - requires you to think like a bot.

Top tip 1: Make a Plan

Obvious right? But we mean, really make a plan. Write it down and keep adding to it and refining it. Then follow your plan.

  • For example, make sure you get an org chart or something that helps you map who’s who
  • If this is available online, use the online system to draw your own map: who do you think you need to know; who will be key decision makers in the system
  • Try to get at least ten names on your plan - and make a note as to why you want to know them
  • At your next one to one with your manager, maybe share your early thinking and get some steers from her/him

Top tip 2: Have Something Cool to Offer People

  • In days gone by your new colleagues might have been keen to have coffee and a chat, chances are now, they are snowed so you need to be a little more imaginative
  • Think back to the recruitment process, what did you learn about your skills, knowledge and experience that was clearly of interest in this new role?
  • Think about these new relationships as an extension of those recruitment interviews

Top tip 3: Don’t Blanked Email People

  • Make contact with your new network one at a time; don’t blanket email them all, work through them methodically
  • As you learn from one person you can integrate what you’ve learnt when you speak to the next person
  • And when you’ve reached the end, start again…

Top tip 4: It’s OK to Ask for Help and Further Introductions

  • When you do get to have that online coffee, remember after forging a connection with your new colleague, it’s OK to ask for help.
  • Asking for advice is a great way to offer something (see Tip 2) because you boost the other person’s ego and the boost is what you are offering!
  • Mature and confident people are OK to say - I’m new, what do I need to understand to become quickly effective around here
  • Asking for advice on who else you need to talk to and get to know is a clever way to achieve both!

-       AND, don’t forget to offer help too

In summary, a key part of your new job is the job of getting to know people. This is something you can no longer just take for granted. Make sure you apportion enough time and attention to this vital task and don’t allow the new workload to crowd out these activities.

Our book, Coaching on the Go, has lots of helpful ideas in Chapter 5, where we talk about building trust and rapport. Congratulations on your new job - we hope you do well.