If an Onboarding Plan is NOT Your Greatest Challenge with New Teammates, What Is?

As a team leader or member, one of the greatest challenges you have is welcoming a new teammate and “showing them the ropes.”

But onboarding is NOT the most important part of bringing in someone new.

As a teacher and coach, I used to tell my students and athletes that it was less important how you start than what you do each day to ensure a strong finish.


And now, as a teamwork speaker, I share a similar message with audiences at conferences.


Don’t get me wrong – it is definitely important to welcome your new hire and provide them with the resources and warmth to make their transition comfortable.

In fact, I believe you should discuss with your existing team What to Share With a New Team Member (I put together a handout that you can download that addresses that specific challenge)!

But onboarding someone(while a significant step in their successful integration) is NOT the most important part of them becoming a successful part of your team…


So what is the most important part?

Well – to answer that, I want you to think of the last wedding you went to.  It was probably very nice. I remember my own… and as a father I cringe to consider how much time and effort and money goes into a ceremony like the one we enjoyed.

But the ceremony only lasts ONE day.

The IMPORTANT part of the marriage isn’t the wedding – it’s the EVERYDAY INTERACTIONS and kindnesses and intentional connections that you should focus on to build and strengthen that make a marriage successful!


Team building is like bridge maintenance – and whether it is the Golden Gate Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, or the bridge of relationships between the people on your team, it is important to invest time and resources to keep the “bridge” safe and strong.

Every leader invests time in strategy and planning…


But a GREAT leader recognizes the need to invest time in teambuilding activities and designing experiences for their people to laugh and interact and learn about each other and feel seen and appreciated.

When is the last time you set aside a day to connect your employees to a goal – and to each other – to let them know you appreciate them?

When is the last time you set aside a day to call and thank and connect with your past customers to let them know you appreciate them?

It isn’t about having a nice wedding only.

It isn’t about building the bridge or welcoming someone and then neglecting them.


Great teams are the result of daily intentional connections and development.


Great teams focus on keeping the marriage strong every day, and it that “bridge maintenance” that will keep your employees and customers happy and loyal.

If your team needs a little intentional “maintenance,” consider the impact that a professionally facilitated team building event might have on your team’s productivity, communication, and morale…


If you are looking to add new members to your team, here are 7 tips for attracting the best fit.


And if you want to ensure that your people STAY FOCUSED on the daily respectful kindnesses that build a great team culture, consider sharing my most recent book with them – The Ten Commandments of Winning Teammates.

Don’t just welcome your people and neglect them.


Team performance is a symptom of intentional “bridge” maintenance!