Looking out for others

This is the time of year lots of new recruits join us – how can you help them manage?

Starting a new job can be an exciting time as it brings with it new experiences, opportunities and relationships. It is common to feel anxious, nervous, and unsure when adjusting to a new role, work environment, team and workplace culture. Beginning a new role in health and social care services during the Covid-19 pandemic brings with it additional challenges due to the work pressures on teams, remote working, and concerns around contracting and spreading the virus. Each person will adapt to and feel settled in a new role in his or her own time. Researchers have found on average it takes people 66 days to establish a new habit (Lally et al., 2010). Understandably, the bigger the change the longer it will take the person to feel settled.


Positively, there are many steps that managers and team members can take to support their new recruits.


Managers can:

  • Have a significant impact on onboarding new staff effectively. Onboarding involves acclimating staff to a new environment, teaching them how to perform tasks effectively, educating them about the organization’s mission and values, teaching them how to access resources, and determining how they can contribute to the organisation’s success (Baker and DiPiro, 2019). Research has shown that effective onboarding can result in new employees getting up to speed faster, being more efficiently able to contribute to achieving desired goals and improved retention rates (Lynch Buckner-Hayden, 2010). The first three months of being employed by a new organization have been identified as a critical time period for new staff to become efficient and develop confidence in their roles and develop a connection to the organization (Weinstock, 2015).
  • Formally introduce new staff members and clearly communicate their role to the team and the key stakeholders in the organization.
  • Be mindful to allocate new staff member’s shifts (within the first couple of weeks/months) when other more experienced team members will be working. This will allow for shadowing opportunities but will also make it easier for new recruits to ask for support when they need it.
  • Support new staff by scheduling regular catch-ups with them until they feel settled in their new role.
  • Link new staff in with a mentor and/or ‘buddy’ support, such as frequently touching-base and more formal one-to-ones with a team member.
  • Assist in an effective orientation by creating a written Orientation Guide for new starters with key up to date information about the service, processes and contact details of key people/services for them to be aware of in their new role.
  • Make new staff aware of health and wellbeing resources available to them within/outside the organization.


Team Members can:

  • Be mindful that their new colleague will likely be feeling uncertain and unsettled in the early days of commencing their role.
  • Help by making time to get to know new recruits and sharing with him/her their roles and responsibilities within the team.
  • Aim to be supportive, enthusiastic and available if asked to be a ‘buddy’ to a new recruit.
  • Make time to offer new staff informal support and regularly check in with them.
  • Offer them opportunities to engage in peer support activities/sessions, e.g., peer supervision, case discussions, journal clubs.
  • Invite them to attend daily team huddles which can be used for feedback/discussion and support.


Support available from the Healthier Together Support Network

1:1 Assessment and therapy sessions with a Clinical Psychologist

Leadership Consultations 





Baker, B., & DiPiro, J. T. (2019). Evaluation of a Structured Onboarding Process and Tool for Faculty Members in a School of Pharmacy. American journal of pharmaceutical education, 83(6), 7100.

Lally, P., van Jaarsveld, C.H.M., Potts, H.W.W. and Wardle, J. 2010. How are habits formed: Modelling habit formation in the real world. European Journal of Social Psychology, 40: 998–1009.  

Lynch K, Buckner-Hayden G. Reducing the new employee learning curve to improve productivity. J Health Risk Manag. 2010; 29:22–28.

Weinstock D. Hiring new staff? Aim for success by onboarding. J Medical Practice Mgmt. 2015;31:96–98

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