Welcoming a New Member to Your Team

Positive IDentity Blog,

Posted By Jessica Bender, Auxiliary Services Manager at Palm Beach State College

It seems like the biggest words that we are hearing lately are “change, pivot, and adapt” and we cannot go a day without hearing or discussing one of these concepts. As part of these many changes, workplaces are changing, and people are changing jobs. It has been said that this is currently an “Employee’s Market,” with one report indicating that we are seeing some of the highest “quit levels” in history. Common sense would tell us that we need to treat our employees well so that they stay in their jobs and make sure they feel valued and appreciated.

Recently, our card office welcomed a new Campus Card Coordinator and it was my job to welcome her to the department and set her up for success. It had been about eight years since I had to train a new employee and I didn’t even know where to start. I know that it is very important to give a new employee the tools they need to do their job while also keeping an open dialogue for future training experiences.

Our new coordinator was new to the card office but not new to the College, which was a huge advantage. However, there was still a lot to learn.  I didn’t want to overwhelm her, but I also didn’t want to fail at giving her all of the relevant information.

NACCU has published an “Onboarding Guide” that members can customize as a training tool for onboarding new staff members. This guide can be used for training both students and professionals at all levels. I was so glad that I remembered that this tool was available as it was a lifesaver. We are so busy “doing our work” that it is often hard to communicate all that we do in a coherent manner. We just know things or just do things without thinking about them. I have often been asked “how did you know that was the problem?” My response has often been, “I just know.” How do you train someone to be able to do that?

The biggest benefit I found from the Onboarding Guide was that it started with the basics, the things that we just “know” and assume everyone knows. Have you ever been the new person at a job and wondered where the restrooms are or where the breakroom is located? How about how to use the phone? The onboarding guide also led me to make sure that various office procedures were adequately documented and updated to current times. I was able to use the guide to carve the path we took for our training and it gave our new coordinator something to keep as a reference for questions that may arise.

While it definitely took some time to go through and customize the guide for our office, it is a living document that can be used for future onboarding and to keep our office functioning, even as staff transitions to new duties or positions.

Whether you are new to NACCU or a seasoned professional, I encourage you to take a few minutes to familiarize yourself with all of the wonderful resources that are at your fingertips as part of your NACCU membership. You will be amazed at what you may uncover.

Jessica Bender is a former NACCU Board of Directors President and remains an active committee member. She has been at Palm Beach State College since 2007 and currently serves as Manager of Auxiliary Services. She has over 20 years higher education experience