It isn’t easy being a new employee. First there is all the learning involved–from the company, to the product, to the marketplace. Then there is the strain of learning everyone’s names and trying to fit into a brand new culture.
The biggest stress however is that underlying nagging feeling that if it all doesn’t go smooth you won’t pass probation.
However you want to look at it, onboarding is very overwhelming, and extremely underestimated!
It’s not all doom and gloom though. As a manager, you really can make a difference in helping a new employee thrive and excel in the workplace–especially if you set realistic and attainable goals. It’s crucial that your employees feel like they are delivering value right from the first day. Because if done right, a new employee can achieve a lot in the first 90 days.
Here are a few tips to make your new employees’ initial months a breeze:
Make learning a goal. New employees need to feel like they are accomplishing something–even when it isn’t entirely related to what they were hired for. Yet we often forget the amount of time it takes to learn. If your onboarding process includes learning, be sure to weave this into your new employee’s list of objectives. When they achieve this, recognize them for this and reinforce they are heading in the right direction.
Add some obvious and simple ‘check off’ items. Maybe it sounds silly, but consider adding some superficial items to a new employee’s to-do list. So whether that’s lunch with the VP of Sales, or playing a round of ping pong with the team, make it an actual task to check off. And just like the learning, be sure to also recognize them for completing this. However trivial it may seem, the more employees feel like they are accomplishing, the more they will feel committed to their new work environment.
Don’t even mention next quarter objectives. The point is to NOT overwhelm them, because trust me, they already feel overwhelmed. Let the employee finish the first list before creating future objectives. Besides, what they can or can’t achieve is as much of a learning process for you as it is for them. When their 90 days are over you will then be in a better position to set realistic and attainable targets for future quarters.
Be cognizant of different learning styles. Some of your new employees are going to dive head first into whatever company literature they can get their hands on. Meanwhile, other employees might learn by immersing themselves in their new culture and reaching out to others. Whatever path they take, be supportive and encouraging. If you have an automated onboarding process be aware that not every employee is going to learn at the same pace. Also, just because your process is automated doesn’t mean you don’t have to be available for questions.
What are doing to make your new employees feel productive?Tags: coaching, constructive feedback, Google OKRs, OKRs