Our family just bought a new short-haired greyhound / lab mix, an adorable puppy named Charlie. Like most puppies, Charlie is extremely enthusiastic, eager to please, and a just a tad bit out of control.
Perhaps Charlie sounds like your newest employee? Having run a business for several decades, I have seen new employees come and go - it is just part of being a business owner. Every business has its own standards, metrics and culture - and no matter how much you have vetted a new staff member, there will be training required. What's an organization to do to ensure a new employee has what they need to adjust to their new workplace (much like Charlie has to adjust to his new home)? First, they need to learn the rules of the game. Give them structure. Create a training and development support process that will ensure that the training you do works.
At Connections, we’ve started to map out the first two week's schedule of each new hire to our team. Rather than the simple “shadow me and watch what I do,” we map out an orientation and training of our corporate culture and practices, what we call "The Connections Way." Make sure your new hire is introduced to each member of the team, and has time to spend with each of them on their first week to enable them to establish personal connections to each person. Nothing helps a team member succeed as feeling part of the team early on.
Ensuring each new hire has an opportunity to work in each area of the company, or each area of their particular department, is an especially powerful way to have them gain an appreciation of the role every team member performs. The easiest way to encourage understanding is to have the person experience “a day in the life of” each of your team members! If you are thinking “that’s a lot of work”--- yep, it is. You need to be intentional about how you setup your new hire for success.
Don’t forget to capitalize the greatest value your new hire can make to your firm, “questions from the new guy”. Your new hire is seeing your firm for the first time. They are bound to have endless questions about what you do, and why you do them a certain way. Encourage these questions, and get them written down! These questions provide key insights to improving your new employee on-boarding process. This on-boarding process should evolve and grow with each new hire to your organization. Wrap up each day of the first two weeks asking the employee what questions they had answered that day, and specifically solicit their opinions on everything they’ve experienced.