Finding your feet at a new company can be difficult. There’s so much to learn during onboarding that making friends isn’t always top of our priority list. That said, having a good relationship with your colleagues can be crucial to your success and lead to a much happier working environment. If you’re struggling to connect with your new coworkers, this is how to engage them.
Ensure you are saying hi to everyone you come into contact with. This shows your potential friends you’re invested in the company culture and interested in getting to know the whole team – not just the managers!
We’re naturally drawn towards positive people so do your best to give off good vibes. (Yes, good vibes.) You don’t need to wear tie dye and say dude a lot, just flashing a smile every now and then and steering clear of negative work rants will be a big help.
Put yourself out there
Hiding at your desk might seem like the favourable lunch option but force yourself to engage with your colleagues. Join them around the lunch table, go for Friday beers, get involved in the company book club or yoga class. Throw yourself into whatever social activity is going on. The more times you do it, the easier it will be.
We’re not suggesting you overload your new colleagues with your personal problems but letting them know your interests, hobbies and passions can be a good way to spark conversation and find common ground. Asking for help (when genuinely needed) is another way to build trust and rapport among your colleagues.
Nothing revs the friendship engine like a bit of decorum. Not to get all parental on you but good manners should be something you practice in all aspects of life anyway. That means saying please and thanks, holding the door for the colleague behind you and cleaning up after yourself.
Being genuinely curious about your colleagues makes them feel good and helps you learn more about them. Ask about the work they do in the business, even if it’s irrelevant to your own. It’s a sign of respect to your new workmates and it gives you a good sense of how everyone works together too.
It can be hard to get yourself out there and overcome any existing cliques in the company so don’t beat yourself up if you don’t make friends right away. It takes time to understand the team dynamic and become comfortable with different personalities. And if all else fails, bring baked goods. No one can resist a donut.
Read more about work friendships.