New Staff Start-up Strategies
May 20, 2019

A new school year typically brings new team members to our school. Want to help new staff be happy–and more effective–as quickly as possible? Let’s apply the 7 Habits to the critical task of supporting new hires in their transition to share their genius in our leadership culture!

  1. Habit #1: Be Proactive is about initiative. Empower new staff members to dive into Leader in Me by inviting them to attend a regional 7 Habits training. Share the 7 Habits Profile and a New Staff Packet to model the paradigm “Change starts with me.”
  2. Tap into Habit #2: Begin With the End in Mind and the principle of vision by inviting staff to keep their own Leadership Notebook. You could get them started with the school’s mission statement and a few recommended classroom activities for building mission statements. Incorporate opportunities on the master calendar for staff to update their Leadership Notebook throughout the year at mentor and staff meetings.
  3. Model Habit #3: Put First Things First by establishing leadership as a Big Rock. Host a Leadership 101 event for new hires and equip them with tools to teach leadership, including this 7 Habits “Cheat Sheet” and the First 8 Days lesson plans.
  4. Practice Habit #4: Think Win-Win by sending new staff members to a leadership classroom on your campus, a Symposium event, or to a neighboring Leader in Me School. Equip them with this handy Leadership Classroom Best Practice “Look-Fors” resource and ask them to capture new learning and key take-aways with their grade-level or department teams.
  5. Remember what it’s like to be new at school? Tap into Habit #5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood by connecting new hires with staff mentors. New teachers may be reeling from the influx of names and faces, all while trying to make sense of a culture that everyone else implicitly gets. Use the Leader in Me Framework and Leader in Me Weekly to break down new learning at monthly mentor meetings.
  6. Try Habit #6: Synergize by creating opportunities for new hires to connect with returning staff members in team building activities through monthly mentor meetings and/or after hours events and by offering opportunities for new staff members to observe seasoned teachers in action.
  7. Help new hires live out Habit #7: Sharpen the Saw with social gatherings outside of school. Consider hosting “After Office Hours” and include meetups that promote renewal of the mind, body, heart, and spirit.

There’s no one right way when it comes to onboarding, but thoughtful consideration of the 7 Habits is a critical part of putting new hires on the right path to long-term success! Use these strategies to paint a vivid, detailed picture of what it means to teach at your Leader in Me School and watch as new staff members are inspired and empowered to deliver exciting results.


Classroom Resources:

Include these resources in new staff welcome materials:


  • Help staff new and old find their strengths and opportunities for improvement with the 7 Habits Profile

Learn More:

Find ideas for New Staff Learning in this e-module.

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