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The power of a who to call list

A best practice in any new role is to build a "who to call list". Whether you are new to to the organization or you are in a new role, taking the time to build such a list is an investment that pays off in several ways.

Now you're probably thinking, "Andrew, I have that list in my head", and maybe you do, but when you're new you have a great deal going on and writing it down aids retention and creates a useful asset for you. So let's break it down

Why Who to Call

Many times when being onboarded, I've heard people be told, "you call X for this and Y for that, call me (manager) for anything else". Sadly that approach is lazy, not scalable and under supports the employee.

Lazy? That approach is too simple. New employees often have nuanced complex requests but just telling them who to call in every situation does them no favors.

Not scalable? If you (the manager) have too many employees asking you for who to call - you'll have no time to do your own work. Remember every time someone says, "who should I call?" in order to give them the right name you need to ask a series of questions to understand the context for and the intention of the question.

Under supports the employee? If you leave your employee to build their own list you are creating a way for them to build their own connections (their list might end up better than yours), their own network, their own relationships. And next time you onboard another employee you can delegate the "who to call conversation" to one of your team - developing both employees at one stroke. And in a post pandemic hybrid world of work this helps remote or hybrid workers build those connections vital for role and career development.

What should go in a who to call list?

That's really up to each one of us, but to stimulate your thinking I'll share what's in mine:

  • Name

  • Mobile number

  • Email

  • Function

  • Location (knowing their time zone can manage your expectations and their sleep) and

  • Expertise (what to call them for)

What goes into your who to call list?

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