Scott Hodge


Two Important Things I Tell Every New Hire

Feb 27, 2012


There are a couple of really important things that I ask every new person who joins our team to be extremely intentional about.  They’re mostly in regards to internal organizational culture.  Here are a couple of them.


Let’s start from the basis that we will not assume anything.  Which means that I will clearly communicate everything that’s important for you to know – even if I have a hunch that you already know what I’m about to tell you.  I would rather say it and you tell me that you already knew instead of not saying it because I didn’t want you to feel like I was insulting your intelligence by telling you something that I assumed you already knew.

(Congratulations if you understood that last sentence...)

Not assuming means that we will need to OVER COMMUNICATE with each other – especially in the beginning.  I’d rather have to ask you to communicate less than get frustrated by the problems that arise when we’re not communicating enough.

(This is why I think one-on-one meetings should be much more frequent with new hires in the beginning.  Part of our role as their direct supervisor is making sure that we’re making ourselves available for the very thing we’re asking them for.  In this case – clear communication.)


Take plenty of time to learn about us.  Have an inquisitive posture with everyone on the team.  Learn our story.  Learn why we do what we do.

This is important because your fresh eyes will soon see better ways of doing certain things.  This is good!  BUT….before you tell us how we can do it better, show respect by taking the time to understand why it’s being done the way it is.  That will score you a ton of points with the team.

Stephen Covey said it best: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

Don’t assume that your idea hasn’t already been thought of.  There may be a very legitimate reason why it’s still being done the way it is.  BUT…..on the other hand, there may not be!  And that’s a big part of the reason why you’ve been hired to join our team!

But….no matter what – always take time to understand the stories behind things before you try changing them.  It’s as simple as asking: “Tell me about _______, what have your thoughts been about that?”  That will go a long way.

What are a couple of the biggies you communicate to new people who join your team?

7 Responses to “Two Important Things I Tell Every New Hire”

  1. Scott Savage says:

    Expectations. I do my best to communicate expectations up front and make sure the people know what I am asking them to do in that position. My failures with bad hires has always been related to unclear expectations where commitment wasn’t firm.

  2. #1. We are a team. We do things all the time that fall outside of job descriptions. We help each other. We support each other. Anytime you are overwhelmed and don’t ask for help, you have failed to give others a chance to grow by helping. You then have to take that same attitude of teamwork out into your ministry assignment. Teamworks teaches us to build teams
    #2. Work Ethic. We hire gifted people but we always look deeper at the personal work ethic. I love the Biblical word “strive.” Paul, not an extremely gifted communicator in preaching but did anyone get out and get the job done like Paul? You better be ready to work.

  3. Scott Hodge says:

    Right on Scott! I’m with you… Learned that lesson the hard way…many times over. Thanks for commenting! -SH

  4. Scott Hodge says:

    Great thoughts Phil! Especially your thoughts on how avoiding asking for help is robbing others of opportunity. That’s a great perspective… Thanks for jumping in on the conversation! -SH

  5. Scott Hodge says:

    Phil – great work on your church website. Looks sharp!

  6. One of the lessons I’ve learned the hard way falls under your “make no assumptions” header. I’ve learned to communicate and make sure my team understands that *we are a team.*

    I’ve got your back and you will have mine. If someone gripes to you about me, handle it biblically and maturely. Confront me if needed, but do so lovingly. Don’t hang me out to dry and don’t create division within our team or our community.

    To violate this is to do extraordinary damage.

  7. Bethann Pflughoeft says:

    Counseling. You sound more invested in it. Why sacrifice your happiness for a level up in the income bracket?

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