“Who are the best performers in the company?”
I hosted a new hire orientation for years as an executive with a Fortune 500 company. This question came from a college graduate on her first day with our company.
Orientations were a great opportunity to meet our fresh faces and share advice on how they could get a fast start.
She asked a good question but it was not out of the ordinary. I was often asked some variation of this question.
I gave her a few names of people in her office that had impressed me early and often. I went on to name a few others outside of her office who found success quickly and shared the traits they all had in common.
She took notes and thanked me for sharing.
Impressive? Not yet.
The next day, I received an email from one of the top performers I talked about the day before. She just got off the phone with the young lady who asked the question.
Without any nudging from me, she called and asked her for advice.
The top performer was happy to help and was humbled that someone was even asking. She became one of her biggest fans, tracking where she stood in the rankings and reaching out with encouragement.
It didn’t end there.
Later that afternoon, her manager called to tell me that she had offered to take several people out to lunch in her specific office. She wasn’t just taking anyone out. These were the individuals I had highlighted as top performers.
By the end of that week, she had been to lunch or had a coaching conversation by phone with every person I had listed!
That’s not all.
Over the next two months, she took every person in her office out for coffee or lunch. She wanted to get to know every person on her team personally and took the attitude that she could learn from all of them.
I loved this new hire!
As a new employee, you are going to take more than you give for an extended period of time. You have so much to learn. Policies, organization charts, product offerings, technology, customers. You are most likely starting from scratch in all of those areas, regardless of your experience level in the industry.
You need help and most of it won’t come from your boss.
You need your peers to help answer the hundreds of small questions that come up daily. Unfortunately, you were hired because those same peers were too busy to handle the workload.
In other words, you are asking incredibly busy people to stop what they are doing and share their time with you. This is time they most likely don’t have.
How do you do this? Be likable.
Build relationships early. Find common interests with all of your peers. Learn about their personal lives. Get out of your cubicle often and interact with people in the office. Smile, be cheerful and be helpful. Buy coffee and lunch. You will get a return on that investment so boss up.
Offer to jump in and take on some administrative burdens from your peers. Find simple things you can do and ignore your title. Do some dirty work, make some copies, scan some documents, run a package to a customer.
Learn who the stars in your office are and go out of your way to study their habits, skills, processes and approach. Get close to the top performers and you’ll develop their habits and start producing similar results sooner than you think.
What happened to that eager new hire who started working on her network from day one? It wasn’t long before I was talking about her at new hire orientation classes and new hires were calling her for advice.
If you want to impress your boss, treat your new peers right from the start.