Friday Fun – An example of making a transition fun AND special

by Jun 3, 2011Career Transitions, Insights, Leadership, Managing Talent, Performance Management

People like to hear their own name.  This is a bit of wisdom that a mentor once shared with me and I have never forgotten it.  Nothing irritates me more than a quiet or non introduction of a new person.  Assuming all people will find their way misses an opportunity to provide a great start to someone who is looking for a way to connect with their team.

Enter my friend, who missed an opportunity to be a circus clown, trading it for a career as a Marketing Director.  Time has taught him to bring his unique brand of humor to his job.  He gave me his approval to share an email on how his team  announces new team members / changes in roles:

I am happy to announce that James Greene will be moving from part-time intern to a 3-4 month long full-time internship with our company.  While you may know James as the squishy orb guy or the resident ladies man; he actually has been working as our Pay-per-click (PPC) specialist, which is a critical component of our Marketing team that spends around 20% of each division’s budget.  James will continue to manage our PPC working for Kathy, he will also be adding the second phase of the call center trial.  Expect to see him on a shifted schedule up to midnight in the office during the week and potentially weekends.  Please welcome James to his new role. 

A few little known facts about James:

  • Attended THE Michigan State University, received a degree in Marketing (Sales emphasis)
  • Grew up in Marquette, MI
  • There is an “e” at the end of his last name.  Oddly, at age 12, he dropped the extra “e” in Jamese.
  • Has one younger brother
  • He can guess any ladies age with an accuracy +/- one year. 
  • Enjoys playing most sports, but especially Golf, Tennis, Jarts, and Basketball
  • His Dad loves big campfires. 
  • He can’t get enough music in his life and is an avid guitar player (a wanna be hipster)
  • He is Butler Bulldog Brad Stephens’ evil twin – separated at birth?  (after this he showed a picture of the new team member next to Brad Stephens – striking resemblance!)

Of course there are limits in what to say and how sarcastic or inventive to get.  The key point – there is a chance to make someone feel special and make a job change an event to celebrate!  The best part of this story is the IT department did an announcment using this format the next week.  Good ideas have a way of being adopted by others.

Here is another method I have used to speed up the get to know each other process. 

Have any other ideas?  Comments to this post are welcome.

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