How To Help New Hires Succeed

If you’re a business owner or HR manager, you know how important it is to hire the “right” person. Yes, I’m using quotes for “right” because we all know how hard it is to find the “right” new team member.

But this isn’t about the hiring process. That’s for another blog post. This is about life after the hiring.

After over 25 years of being in the workforce and nearly 20 years of hiring and supervising, I can confidently say that our work really begins after the hiring. So, how do you set employees up for success? Instead of throwing someone in and seeing if they sink or swim, here are some tips I’ve learned to help ensure your new team members and your organization thrive together.

Give Them a Road Map

If you didn’t create a job description already, it’s crucial to have one so new hires have a clear understanding of what the expectations are and how they will be evaluated. It may sound simple, but giving them a road map to follow can help them during the training period and beyond.

Train Beyond the First Week

The supervisor or HR manager should provide a two-week, 30-day, 60-day and ongoing training plan for the new hire. Actively think about what information, processes and tasks they will need to succeed in their role.

At JP, we create training sessions with different departments so new hires have the chance to interact with folks and get to know the flow within the agency. This not only helps new hires feel more comfortable with their peers, but also helps get everyone on the same page!

Bonus tip: assign one person (usually the direct supervisor) to be the keeper of the training plan for consistency among new hires.

Talk About Evaluations

Evaluations can be intimidating and scary (even for managers!), but it’s important that you communicate honestly with new hires to prevent anxiety about the evaluation process.

Get it out there. Answer their questions. Don’t treat evaluations like a scary secret that you may or may not spring on them annually. Let new hires know who will be in their evaluation, when they will occur, and what the objectives are.

Here’s an example of an evaluation schedule:

  • Weekly check-in: One-on-one meeting with direct supervisor to answer questions and provide clarity on assigned projects. This will occur for the first six weeks of hire, and the established job expectations will be used as a guide to let the new hire know where they are excelling and any areas for improvement.
  • 30-day and 60-day check-ins: One-on-one meeting with HR manager to see how things are going.
  • 90-day check-in: Meeting with direct supervisor and HR manager to discuss career growth paths, professional goals, and how the company can help them achieve their goals.
  • Six-month check-in: Meeting with direct supervisor and HR manager to review performance of annual goals.
  • On-demand check-ins: One-on-one meetings with direct supervisor as needed to answer questions, providing clarity on projects and reviewing progress on goals.

Build Community

Company culture is changing; gone are the days of “put your head down, do the job, get promoted and then retire.” This new notion of building community in the workplace may seem a little “out there” for some businesses.

But at companies where 50% of the workforce is millennials, the idea of community is critical.1 At JP, we create and encourage opportunities for social interaction and building community. These opportunities may cost the company money, so if you have your eye only on the bottom line, you may not see how this makes good business sense. Yet research found that 46% of folks are happier at work when they have close friends there.2

Give a Shout-Out

Recognizing hard work is just as critical as the other steps, yet oftentimes it’s not planned out. While recognition and praise need to flow organically, most of us are so busy that this important task is overlooked.

I recommend setting up a system to ensure the direct supervisor or HR manager creates opportunities to recognize all team members. New team members will especially be encouraged by praise since they will still be building trust and getting to know the company culture. Recognition, even about the little things, will show that they are on the right path and that they’re appreciated. It takes time, but even a little sugar makes everything better, including team member morale.

I know this was a lot. You might be thinking, “This sounds good, but we’re too busy to make this happen.” Or maybe, “Our team members and supervisors can’t take the time to work with new hires; it’s HR’s job.” Well, I have news. Turnover is more expensive and time-consuming than training. My final words to you are – it’s worth it. Think about these steps as the frosting on the cake. You could do without these things, but it just wouldn’t be as rewarding.

MICHELE MEISCH, Client Services Director