In last week’s blog, Onboarding New Employees, we discussed three critical steps to follow when hiring a new employee. This week, we will explore six specific things you can do to ensure you are on the right track when onboarding a new hire.
Oddly enough, I think one of the areas that most managers lose sight of in their day-to-day work is managing, yet it is the #1 obligation of a manager. It is not the TPS reports (yes, a reference to the movie Office Space). It is not the actual production or the end results. It is the leading and managing of the team. All those reports are simply a way to determine what the team has accomplished and how well they perform – basically, how well the team is being led and managed.
More often than not, managers end up focused on the TPS report itself, not the material the TPS report is reporting. It’s like if a football coach invested his time focusing on how the scoreboard worked rather than teaching blocking and tackling techniques to his players – you have to put in the effort to get a positive outcome. To be clear, if you have any direct reports, your first obligation at work should be to lead and manage them. Period. You may have other stuff, but great results start here.
Here are six tips that will help you effectively and efficiently lead, manage, and onboard your new hires.
- Be a true leader and manager. Make sure you are a model of what you want others to follow. Lead your team. Share your vision. Clearly define what your direct reports are responsible for and how you will hold them accountable.
- Be intentional. When you introduce someone to their role and accountabilities, be very intentional. Don’t rush it. Turn off any potential distractions. Let your new employee know that you will walk them through their role first; then, ask your employee to explain to you what they understand they will be accountable for and how those accountabilities will be measured. I am a big fan of having people listen, write it out, repeat it back, and improve it. The psychology behind this is that you are hitting on multiple key learning points for each individual.
- Schedule follow-ups. Overcommunicate and be intentional with your time. I am a fan of starting the first week (or more) with a daily follow-up, usually lasting between 30-60 minutes. Over the next few weeks, I usually condense this to 15-30 minutes then maybe drop it down to meeting twice a week, and so on…until the new employee is comfortable and acclimated. Remember, the point of this is to empower and educate them on your organization’s way of undertaking the responsibilities within their seat. You want this person to own that seat.
- Set an agenda. It is important to set an agenda for your meetings. It can be informal, but it should be consistent. I like starting with listing any victories and issues from the day. In other words, what went well and what was clunky? Keep in mind that the good Lord gave us two ears and one mouth – we should listen twice as much as we talk. Ask questions to guide them in finding solutions rather than solving issues for them. Once you know what needs to be done, set specific action items based on how you choose to address those issues. Write out the steps and let it be known that you will be checking in the next time you meet. Be consistent and make sure to follow up!
- Define the metrics. I recommend implementing some form of metric to track employees and their designated projects. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page. If you are not sure what to measure, discuss it with the employee to get their opinion. It could be focused on training steps, setting timelines, or may involve activities they need to complete, such as widgets, calls, reports, etc. The key is to be consistent with something that helps them to see you are engaged and want them to be successful.
- Be patient. You probably know how to do this job in your sleep, but there is a strong likelihood in the beginning that you did not. This is an area in which I used to struggle, but I have improved…and it has paid dividends. Everyone learns at different paces and in different ways. Empower success and encourage ownership. Invest your time to ensure your employees have it down. Once you get to that point, they will begin transitioning from a liability to a true asset.
Remember to lead and manage your people, as they are the driving force in the success of the entire organization.
Is your new hire training in need of an overhaul? Do you want to learn more about managing your team with more intention? We can help you with that! Contact us today to find out how.