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How To Welcome A New Hire

The Story Behind GDS New Hire Memo

When GDS (Government Digital Service), a UK company which provides media services to the British government posted this “memo”on the web recently, they had no idea that it would go viral.

And, why wouldn’t it. This message conveys great kindness to those fortunate enough to join the GDS team.

As Giles Turnbull, who posted the message, says, “It’s harder to communicate the unofficial stuff. The stuff that’s good to know, but that it’s no-one’s job to tell you. The stuff you’ll probably find out during your first few months, but most likely by accident, because someone casually mentions something in passing and you say ‘Wait, what? Is that a thing?’.

Here is the complete text:

It’s ok to:

  • say “I don’t know”
  • ask for more clarity
  • stay at home when you feel ill
  • say you don’t understand
  • ask what acronyms stand for
  • ask why, and why not
  • forget things
  • introduce yourself
  • depend on the team
  • ask for help
  • not know everything
  • have quiet days
  • have loud days, to talk, joke and laugh
  • put your headphones on
  • say “No” when you’re too busy
  • make mistakes
  • sing
  • sigh
  • not check your email out of hours
  • not check your email constantly during hours
  • just Slack it
  • walk over and ask someone face-to-face
  • go somewhere else to concentrate
  • offer feedback on other people’s work
  • challenge things you’re not comfortable with
  • say yes when anyone does a coffee run
  • prefer tea
  • snack
  • have a messy desk
  • have a tidy desk
  • work how you like to work
  • ask the management to fix it
  • have off-days
  • have days off

GDS is a company that gets it. And has, no doubt, inspired others around the world to welcome new-hires with enthusiasm and kindness.

By the way, they’re hiring!

Download a copy here.