How to Become Part of the Team: Tips for New Hires

Starting a job at a new company has challenges. As a business leader, Alex F. Bouri has seen hundreds of new staff members join the team. Some took to their roles quickly and made an immediate positive impression, while others never quite seemed to fit in. So how do you become one of the success stories? Here are Alex’s tips for becoming part of the team.

  • Observe and understand the office culture – Every company is different and has its own internal culture. This can include everything from how much joking and laughing there is at meetings to whether staff can take a long lunch or not. It can also reflect factors that are more difficult to notice and track, like how employees are evaluated or how much information management gives to staff. An office culture isn’t usually “good” or “bad,” so much as it fits some people better than it does others. But the first step to trying to fit in is to understand the office culture. Pay attention to how other people do things and try to do them the same way. Keep quiet at your first few meetings while you listen and get a feel for the rhythm of how people work there.
  • Seek out the training and guidance you need – It can be hard for managers or supervisors to know how much training, information or help you need or what resources to provide you with. In other cases, supervisors are simply so overworked that they may not think of reaching out to you. That doesn’t mean you need to fumble around blindly. If you need a resource or help understanding something, come forward and be proactive in asking for help. If a supervisor is overworked, ask a fellow employee.
  • Set up one-on-ones with more experienced employees – During your first month on the job, it should be your goal to have at least one coffee or lunch session one-on-one with everyone in your department. During your second month, expand this to include people outside of your department with whom you cross paths. Don’t just focus on leaders: they’re already busy and it can create the impression of being a suck up. Instead, try to get to know each of your colleagues and learn from their experience with the company, their roles, and their recent projects.
  • Lead with results – No matter what your role, experience level or title, nothing speaks louder than results. Make it your goal to achieve at least one outstanding success in your first three months on the job. This could involve greatly exceeding a metric, finishing a major project ahead of schedule, landing a new client or proposing an effective solution to a major problem. Spend extra time in the office if you need to—it will speak volumes about your value as an employee.

What else do you do to fit in at a new job?

 

Why Entrepreneurs Should Understand Social Media

Business has changed a lot since Alexander F Bouri first took the helm of Seament. The advent of the Internet, the smartphone, and social media has changed how we do business. But one thing hasn’t changed: a smart and successful entrepreneur needs to understand all the moving parts that make their business run, as well as recent and upcoming trends within their industry. If you find yourself a little out of touch with social media, this is your wake up call. Here are three reasons every entrepreneur needs to understand social media:sm

  1. Because there is no such thing as a business that doesn’t need it. It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, what scale you’re looking at, or whether your next business is tech related or not: you need social media. Social media accounts are particularly crucial in a retail or customer facing business, where they serve not only as important points of contact but also allow you to find, grow, and speak to your fan base. But even in a B2B business, social media remains critical: it gives a sense of credibility to your company and will often be the first thing prospective clients look at when researching you. Plus, whether you use social media as a point of client contact or not, your social media presence contributes to your SEO which means active social media equals more prospective clients.
  2. Because it’s so easy to do wrong. Despite how important it is, social media is one thing that many business leaders still don’t understand well and that has led to many mistaken theories on how to go about it. More than 10 years after Facebook became popular, businesses still make rudimentary mistakes like posting only to try to sell things, or deleting complaints and critical comments when they come up. These “antisocial” behaviors make sense from a traditional marketing/advertising perspective but not from the perspective of having a friendly chat with past and future customers. These flubs can do long-term damage to your company and its online presence. It’s important to know enough about social media not only to avoid these flubs personally, but also to vet the advice you get from staff or consultants who claim they know what they’re talking about.
  3. Because you’re ultimately responsible for every message that goes out. It doesn’t matter whether you plan to post to social media accounts personally, or whether you’re delegating 100% of tasks to an employee: the buck stops with you. If you’re clueless about social media, you’re not only likely to misuse it if you personally are the company’s voice online, you’re also likely to set poor priorities or push bad strategies on staff who handle it for you. In order to intelligently oversee a company with a social media presence, you should know as much about social media as you know about marketing.

Keeping it in the Family – Some of the World’s Most Successful Family Businesses

Family businesses aren’t just corner drugstores or plumbing businesses. Some of the world’s most recognizable names and brands have been family-operated from the very start. Sam Walton, Henry Ford, Alex F. Bouri, and Frank Mars are just a few people that have given their heirs a company that they could happily call a legacy.

Wal-Mart

Chances are if you’ve ever done shopping of any kind, you’ve stepped into a Wal-Mart at least once in your life. While there have been controversies over the company’s treatment of its workers and its effect on local and global economies, one cannot discount the impact that Sam Walton’s company has had since he opened the first store in 1962. Currently, Sam’s son Rob Walton acts as chairman on the board of directors and each of Mr. Walton’s children top the annual list of richest people in the world.

Comcast

The largest cable provider in the United States, Comcast has its roots in the early days of television. Co-founded in 1963 by Ralph Roberts, Daniel Aaron, and Julian Brodsky as American Cable Systems, the Philadelphia-based company reported revenue of more than 64 billion dollars in 2013. Currently, Ralph Roberts’ son, Brian, runs the company.

Seament

You may not be familiar with the name, but Seament is secretly one of the most influential companies in the world. Dealing in cement trading, Seament was started in Nigeria by Alex F. Bouri. Boosted by innovations such as the floating cement terminal, Seament managed to build itself into one of the most respected companies in the industry, with the Bouri family still managing operations.

Mars

If you’ve ever gone trick or treating before, you’re plenty familiar with the name Mars. You may have thought that the candy giant behind M&Ms and Snickers was named after the red planet, but it’s actually named for its founder, Frank C. Mars. What started out as a homemade candy company in Washington became a booming business that currently employs 65,000 people. The board of directors is made up of Mars family members.

Ford

Henry Ford is the grandfather of modern industry. Without his innovation, who knows where we would be today. In the early days of the 20th century, Henry Ford catapulted Ford Motor Company to the top of car manufacturing by creating the assembly line, which not only made cars easier to produce, but more affordable for middle-class consumers. The company has been in control of the Ford family since the very beginning and has survived the Great Depression and the most recent near-collapse of the auto industry.

Family businesses come in all shapes and sizes. You may only think of small operations, but some of them are the most popular companies in the world.