You hired your next great team member, now how do you help them get up to speed faster? Can onboarding help create a better team member? Great team members want to make a contribution as quickly as possible. How do you help them get up to speed and get the results you both expect more quickly?
In our role as leaders, we sometimes need to step back into the role of manager when a new employee joins your team. Great leaders know when to manage transitions because they understand the importance of getting people engaged right from the start. I have several ideas that I, as well as my clients, have used to help people get up to speed in the first ninety days. This is an aggressive, but achievable, onboarding schedule if you’re committed to helping this person succeed. There are three key elements to a successful onboarding experience.
The first is to recognize the new person needs to understand the culture if they hope to provide leadership to your team and organization. Be willing to help them better understand the key elements of your culture and how they have evolved. Good onboarding includes a discussion about the history of the organization. I break it down into three key elements, the past, present, and future. If you’re e going to be hiring several people you might put together a presentation to share with all of them. If the person is more senior, you might share it over a lunch during their first week. I find sharing this information up front allows the new person to have a better understanding of the organization they are joining. I can hear you thinking, “I thought we covered this during the interview process, why should I cover it again?” Here’s why. When a person is interviewing, they are in performance mode, he or she wanted to impress you and your fellow team members. I also find that good recruiting organizations have a standard story they share with candidates. If you want more impact you might want to share the inside information once people join your organization. Don’t gloss over things. Answer any questions she may have as truthfully as your can. This helps your new team member understand how you see what’s going on and what is expected of them moving forward. This is a great formula for sustained organizational success.
The second idea is make sure you share your onboarding timeline with the new hire. The better they understand the results you are looking for, the faster they can hit the road and begin helping you achieve your goals. I find that most leaders expect people to take initiative when doing their new jobs. I find that by sharing and collaborating on the schedule, you get significantly better results from your new hire. Onboarding can create a stronger connection to your teams. Since most people want to better understand and trust the people who manage them, this time is critical to help get your new person off to a better start. If you’re hiring someone who has specific skills, you can be best served by providing them an overview of the results you might be looking for from them. In the spirit of full disclosure, many of your best hires may have looked at several opportunities during their interview process. I cannot tell you how many times a candidate of mine called me back after starting the job to get better clarification on what I see as their roles and responsibilities. If you have ever been involved in several interview processes, you know exactly what I mean. I typically check back with people I put into roles to see how they are doing and see what they have uncovered during their early days of employment. This simple act allows me to remove potential problems throughout the initial time in their new role.
Join us next week, when I share my final tip on onboarding your new employees for success. See you then.