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Recently to our group joined a new member. We usually plan a team meeting to introduce ourselves. In the round we tell a little bit about our position in the team, what we do and what we love. But that is really boring at the end.

Are there any methods to make it more interactive and vivid?

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4 Answers

To introduce a new team member, I wouldn't especially set up a meeting to do that: as you say, it gets tedious for everyone and as @Thomas rightly points out it has a cost to it. A good introduction is important though, and you should aim at making sure the new team member is comfortable and at ease with not only the team but how they will fit in, and that your own team is clear on this new person's role. Some of the things you can do:

  • take the new person on a quick "say hi" tour so they meet the people they will work with on a regular basis. If you have a small co-located team, they will pretty much know everyone in a matter of hours, if it is a large, spread-out team, they will need a bit more time, but they don't necessarily have to know every single person straight away.

  • integrate the new joiner straight away in normal project activities - use your regular meetings (eg. status meeting) to briefly introduce your new team member. Don't make everyone introduce themselves, your new team member won't remember half of it anyway.

  • provide new joiners with a who's who: this can be in the form of a team org chart, a physical board, a slide deck, the project social network page if you have one, etc. Basic information should include people's names and roles and a short one-liner about themselves. Photos help too, particularly if you have a large team or people are not co-located. It's helpful for the new joiner to visualize where they fit in.

  • make sure the new person has appropriate support on their first day: they should have the technical set-up (computer, tools, logins, etc.) ready for them, some form of induction pack (HR information, project background information, etc.). Make sure you or someone else is available to go for lunch with them, show them around, etc.

  • inform your team beforehand of the new arrival: this can be a simple email with the person's name, their role, a little background and what they will do, or a quick verbal announcement. I have seen projects where new people join with the project team having no clue that someone new was coming in, which makes it quite awkward and counter-productive for all parties.

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Excellent advice. I also also try to introduce some social aspects of the introduction, not right at the first introduction. We are humans, and for a team to work well, we must not ignore the social aspects of the team interactions. –  tehnyit Sep 13 '11 at 14:07
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Do you really need anything more that what you have now?

If I was a new member, I wouldn't want anything more than being introduced to the team quickly, then jumping into work. I was hired to work on project(s) and support the goals of the team and organization, not to be your friend - I don't need long, drawn out or gimmicky "fun" or "vivid" introductions.

Consider the cost associated with this special "meeting". Adding special introduction events will take the entire team (and perhaps others, depending on who you invite) out of their work. When the team isn't working, they aren't contributing any effort to the completion of the project, yet you have to pay them for their time.

There are other alternatives:

Give the new hire a brief (~30 minute) tour of the office, led by the project manager or supervisor. Introduce them to not only the team, but also other people of interest. Perhaps the IT staff who support your team, the front desk/security staff, the administrative and support staff that works with your team, and so on. Make sure these people know ahead of time, so they can tell you if they will be busy or unavailable. Make it fairly quick, though - you don't want to keep them away from their work for too long (time is money).

The team could have lunch together, either in the office cafeteria or at a restaurant. I'm sure most people on the team take a lunch break, so why not make it a constructive, team-building activity? As long as it's kept professional, it would be a good experience to let everyone get to know each other.

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The only thing I would add to what @Angeline has stated is to schedule a team lunch a couple of weeks after the person has started. This will allow them get started and feel productive before socializing.

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I'm not sure. Every time I've started work, I've had lunch with someone on Day 1. In most cases, I didn't know anyone who I was working with prior, so meeting people over lunch helped introduce me to them quicker. I think, at the very least, the manager/supervisor/lead should have lunch with the new hire on their first day. –  Thomas Owens Sep 7 '11 at 18:37
    
Good point - I do like the manager-new hire one one one lunch the first day. But save the group lunch for a couple of weeks; that way the person can join in conversations and know what's going on. –  Scott Wilson Sep 7 '11 at 20:01
    
That is also a very good point. I suppose if it matters what the dynamic of lunch is. If it's more of a "let's talk shop" lunch, it should wait a couple of weeks so the new hire can go through orientation, get set up, learn the project, and so on. If it's a "let's get to know the new guy" lunch, it could happen sooner. –  Thomas Owens Sep 8 '11 at 1:38
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Ask them to prepare a 90 second introduction using a webcam or smart phone

They can do it in their own time, taking as many "takes" as they like. Encourage them to make it light hearted, if the feel comfortable doing so. The introduction can then be posted on what ever collaboration tool you use or simply emailed around.

You also have the advantage that a new member can look at the other teams introductions.

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