As an IT manager you have always be looking for people that you would like to add to your team. However, once you’ve used you IT manager skills to find them, convinced them to join your team, and actually gotten then on board, what should your next step be? It turns out that the answer is RITA…
What Is RITA?
All too often IT managers think that all that they have to do in order to add great talent to their team is to find the right person and invite them to join. There is very little IT manager training that teaches us how to do this correctly. Sorry about this, there’s more to building a great team than just finding the right people. There are four distinct steps to effectively adding someone to your team. The acronym RITA is a great reminder of just exactly what you need to do: Recruit, Induct, Train, and Assess.
With a little luck you and your company are already doing a good job of recruiting new people to join your team. If you find yourself agonizing over trying to decide between two equally highly qualified candidates, then your recruitment program is doing a good job. The next step is to induct the people that you select. Induction is how you share your team’s culture with new recruits. Culture is what drives people’s actions when you’re not watching them.
The next step is to train your new recruits. The ultimate goal of your training needs to be to let the new members of your team know how you want them to behave. If you don’t tell them, then they’ll never know.
How Do You Get People To Really Join Your Team?
When someone agrees to become part of your team, that’s a good start. However, as an IT manager what you want them to do is to fully commit to joining the team. What’s it going to take to make this happen?
An important part of any new team member training program is to assign them a mentor. Having a mentor gives them someone that they can come to and talk confidentially with about any challenges that they are running into as they work to join the team. Additionally, any new member training program has to include some IT team building activities so that new and old team members can mix and meet.
I’ve always agreed with the saying that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” As an IT manager you need to understand that when it comes to your new recruits it is going to be much easier for you to make corrections and keep the team’s culture on track than to try to replace a wrong culture. After someone has been a member of your team for three months take a step back and ask yourself if they are truly on board or do you have more work to do here?
What Does All Of This Mean For You?
IT managers need to understand that just attracting people to join their team is not enough. They need to go the extra distance and actually make the new people part of their team after they have joined. This is not easy to do.
The experts recommend that we implement the RITA method: recruit, induct, train, and assess. In order to make new members of your team feel as though they belong, you are going to have tell them what you want them to be doing and provide them with mentors.
If you are thinking that all of this onboarding sounds like a lot of effort, you are correct. However, taking the time to make it happen now will yield fantastic results later on. Use the RITA method to build a great team!
– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™
Question For You: What should you do if you use RITA and yet it seems as though a new team member just isn’t fitting in?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
Isn’t it the dream of every IT manager to have the IT manager skills to create a fully committed team? A team that understands what you are trying to accomplish as a team, has fully bought in to that dream, and is aggressively working to achieve your goals? It turns out that there is a dark side to this dream. You need to be aware of what that dark side is and how you can deal with it before it causes your team to burn out…