Starting a new job is nerve-racking for everyone. Those first few weeks can be extra stressful because the new-hire wants to make a good first impression. As a manager, it is your job to ensure a smooth transition and set your new employee up for success right away. Here are 3 mistakes to avoid in the on-boarding process:
1. Not Informing of Company’s Mission, Vision and Values
Everything an employee does should tie back to the company's values. Observing how others do things can only get you so far. An employee must understand the reason things are done a certain way and why the company exists in the first place.
Tip: Include a one-page “How We Work” in their Welcome packet. Include any unspoken rules, office traditions, remote office hours, or anything that would be good for them to know that HR won’t tell them. Don’t have this? Have your team help develop it!
2. Not Setting Clear Expectations
Don’t assume a new employee will pick up everything quickly based on their past experience. Let them know from the beginning how their performance will be measured and exactly what you expect from them. Take time to set up goals and timelines and how they can accomplish them.
Tip: Arrange weekly one-on-ones at the end of each week to go over what they have been working on and to set up projects and goals for the following week. Make sure you have time for the employee to request feedback and ask questions. This will strengthen your relationship, so you can learn how each other works and how you can best support them in the future.
3. Not Training
Just because a sink or swim approach worked for you, doesn’t mean it will work for every new hire. Correctly training a person from the beginning will help you avoid a lot of frustrations in the future. Don’t cram 20 hours worth of information into a dull 4 hour lecture. Add some shadowing with hands-on experience, role play, and time to practice.
Tip: At the end of each day, have the employee go over what they learned and encourage them to write down what they are still not clear on. That way you can take their questions and assign different team members to review that information with them. Nobody learns everything their first time through.