Like that fish we talked about last time, a staff member not properly cared for once landed can soon go “off”.
We need to talk about how to get your staff on-board and performing well, but since I am struggling with the fish analogy, this time I would like to compare your staff members to machines – not exactly flattering I know, but…
Imagine you have invested $500,000 in a new machine. Once you have signed the contract you make damn sure that you fully understand how it works, you get ready for its arrival by making room, perhaps putting down a concrete pad and getting new consumables. You make sure everyone knows it is coming, stressing how carefully it must be looked after. You train the team to use it and in the first few weeks of its operation you get an engineer to tune it up. You watch closely to make sure it is running smoothly and that everyone is looking after it. Then you create a maintenance schedule to ensure you continue to get your money’s worth.
So let’s think about this as far as a new team member is concerned:
Get to know your new staff member during their first few weeks – make an effort to find out what motivates and excites them, and how they like to be managed. Re-reading pre-employment information including interview notes, referee checks and testing information may help to discover useful information such as relevant skill gaps.
Ensure the staff they will be working with are included in preparing for their arrival – tidying up their work station, planning their training, and making sure they have the right equipment from day one. I remember my first day at Grow HR –my business cards were printed, my computer login was working, I had door keys – everything was ready. I felt so welcome
“Re-reading pre-employment information including interview notes, referee checks and testing information may help to discover useful information such as relevant skill gaps.”
Buddying staff up with the resident expert is a good idea – but only if they are positive and helpful, or else you will just make the new person’s life a misery. Remember to make time in the “buddy’s” workload to help the new team member adjust.
Design a staged induction over the first 4 – 12 weeks (depending on role complexity) with regular reviews. Set initial targets in the early weeks to focus learning on critical areas (skills, tasks etc). Research indicates that employees remember only 40% of the information provided in their first week (and that is normally where the loo is and the boss’s name!), so don’t bombard them with too much too soon.
Once your employee is settled in-post, meet regularly to review progress, give praise where due and identify potential improvements. Make sure you have at least a couple of reviews prior to the conclusion of the 90-day trial period, in case you need to use it!
Staff Induction Tips
- Get to know them well early
- Get other staff ready for the new addition
- Have all equipment ready on arrival
- Give them a work buddy
- Stage the induction over a few weeks
- Review progress regularly