We’ve had a fair amount of experience with starting new people at MPOW. With a number of retirements and several colleagues moving to take management positions, go back to graduate school, etc, as well as the restart of our residency program and my taking on the management of our student employees and it’s added up. I’m very grateful for all of the positions we have been able to replace or new positions we’ve added, it’s brought us a lot of new brain power and some really amazing people.
Introducing new people is a wonderful way to shine a light on things that have gotten stagnant, or work arounds that you’ve forgotten that you’re doing. I’ve been trying to pay extra attention to things as I explain them to the most recent additions to my department to see if there are things we should be changing or things I don’t understand three and a half years later.
I’m also noticing our department internal communication dynamics and it’s been good to see that our two new librarians feel welcome (at least as far as I can tell) popping into my office already with a question or sitting for a few minutes to chat. It helps that I have this wonderful old wooden chair that is very comfortable, I think. They are seeing, I hope, that my coworkers and I do pop into each others offices and do take time to engage when we can. Of course, this week has been marginally slower than most. Soon we’ll all be trying to catch each other on the fly.
I’m hoping in the next two-three weeks to learn from them what it is that strikes them as odd or unnecessary or dysfunctional before we lull them into ‘how we regularly do it here.’ Ideally I should get that solidified before they truly start using their old jobs in past tense, though there are days I still refer to La Crosse Public Library in present tense, so that may yet take a while.