How To Get The Best Out Of New Employees
How To Get The Best Out Of Your New Employees
It’s a big challenge to recruit the right people but its just as much a challenge to get new recruits to a stage that they are adding value. From an organisational perceptive, a new employee needs to be up to speed as soon as possible yet the reality is that on average it takes a minimum of six months for a new employee to get to the same level of productivity as an experienced co-worker and in several cases it takes much longer. During this time the organisation is losing productivity which equates to lost revenue. So in this week’s article I want to explore what a Leader can do in order to get the best out of new employees.
Make new employees feel welcome
You only get one opportunity to make a great first impression. When someone starts they need to feel that they are a part of a team and a crucial part in achieving the organisations vision. Pixar have made many successful animated movies such as Toy Story, the Incredibles and Finding Nemo. When you start work at Pixar during your first week you are invited along with other new recruits to meet members of the Executive Team and during this meeting all the new employees are told that regardless of what job they were in previously, regardless of what job they have found themselves in now, from this moment on they only have one job and that job is to make the best movies possible. If you want the best from your new employees then be prepared to invest time in them, get senior management involved and make sure the new employees fully understand the organisations vision and how they fit within that vision.
Give new employees your full trust
I was asked a question at a recent Executive Programme I was facilitating “Should employee’s work to earn trust or should they work to lose trust?” This question demonstrates the two different philosophies with new recruits. Firstly some people believe a new employee should not be given too much responsibility and it’s up to the employee to earn the Leaders trust. I fully understand this thinking but I prefer the opposite mindset in which a new employee automatically has the Leaders trust, the leader duly believes they have hired the right person and has full faith in them, and it’s up to the employee to lose that rust. I will however have to add that if you do this then the employee has to understand that if they do lose that trust then it’s an incredibly long road to win that trust back.
Introduce a buddy system.
It’s difficult to fit within a new place, trying to learn who’s who and where everything is, it can be lonely being the new kid so a useful technique that many companies use is the “buddy system”. This is when a new employee is assigned a “buddy” an existing employee who is not there to train the person but instead is there to answer all the questions that new employees don’t want to ask their boss. The buddy is there to integrate them into the team, introduce them to people, help them build relationships, explain the lingo and the workplace culture. This enables employees to generally fit in and feel like they belong quicker than they would without a buddy.
Don’t drown people in paperwork.
Imagine going home from your first day at work and your partner asks you how your day went and your reply is “All I did was fill out 37 pieces of paperwork” This scenario is not as crazy as it sounds but I know several people who told me that on their first day they were placed in a room and told “read these folders” and they spent all day reading the human resource manuals, IT manuals and all the code of conducts. While all of these documents are important we need to remember what message this gives to the new employee and do you want their first day to be a day full of doing nothing but reading and signing paperwork?
Have a support structure
In order to short cut the learning curve make sure that a new employee is given a comprehensive training detailing what they need to learn in order to do the job well and when they will learn these skills, who they will learn them from and what new measurements are in place to ensure their new knowledge has been applied correctly. A vital part of a training structure is the allocation of time which allows the employee to checkin with their boss. Never settle with the phrase “just ask me if you have any questions.” People won’t ask because they don’t want to look stupid or they think they will work it out eventually, instead make sure time is put aside for the leader and new employee to discuss progress and provide feedback and what is going well and what still needs to be worked on.
The quicker a new employee can become as effective as possible the better it is for the Leader, the team and the organisation. It’s difficult hiring people but it’s also difficult being the new person. So support them today so that they can support you better tomorrow.
Mark Wager is one of the world’s top Leadership experts. Mark can be contacted via the enquiry form below
Posted: Thursday 22 August 2019