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I failed to give legitimacy to new hires

Legitimacy
Delegate
Internal Communication
Productivity
Onboarding
Convincing
Reorganization
Hiring
Team Processes
Career Path

6 December, 2017

Joao Miguel Quitério
Joao Miguel Quitério

Engineering Director at BitSight Technologies

Joao hires two experienced project managers to improve the productivity of his team of 30 engineers.

Problem

Last year, when my team was composed of around 30 engineers, we started a reorganization that was aimed at improving the engineer's productivity. We staffed it with two new hires, one of whom had relevant experience in this area, who were put in charge of catalyzing the team's efficiency, mostly through the implementation of tools and processes. The new hires started working on the implementation of pipeline automation, which we planned to use internally. They were very determined to implement an efficient solution, but their communication with the engineers was clumsy. Even though they talked to them, their work wasn't acknowledged by the engineers.

Actions taken

Six months later, the adoption of the automations they had developed by the rest of the team were minimal and not without friction. I understood that I had not chosen the right people for this task. I designated an engineer from the existing team who was very well thought of by his peers. He rebooted the approach and is currently starting the design process for the new automations with full cooperation and empowerment from the engineering team.

Lessons learned

I underestimated the importance of the staffing decision on this project, and the people in charge lacked legitimacy in the eyes of the engineers. Looking back, I realize that as a manager, it was my job to compensate for this. I should have been more explicit with the rest of the team about their mission and should have insisted on the fact that their job was strategic for our organization and required the buy-in of the whole team.

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