- Karen Gregory
Guest Author: Stephanie Redieske
You’ve got a fresh batch of new hires to onboard and train, and a whole team of seasoned vets who will have to acclimate to new faces. Bringing on new employees is an exciting, yet stressful, time for a leader. You may be a bit overwhelmed with all the paperwork, training days, introductions, and office tours you’re planning for your newbies, but you also must remember to focus some of your energy on how to best help your new employees find their footing in their new positions.
If you’ve got a great training team in place, congratulations. A huge piece of the stress is lifted and you can focus on the behind the scenes stuff—the I9s, certifications, and checklists that are required by the government and most companies, while your training team handles the face-to-face orientations and training days, and brings you only the tough stuff. Don’t underestimate the importance of these procedures; they are in place purposefully, and must be completed correctly, so give them the time and attention they need. Checklists provided by your organization for training procedures can be great tools for you during this process. There is a lot to get done, so keeping a list will help you stay accountable for completing all aspects of required job preparation. If you’re training your new employees on your own, all the pieces fall on your plate. The upside to this is the opportunity to have the first hand in training your employees, your way. It will also give you a chance to see their work ethic from the get-go, and determine how the new personalities will mesh with the team already in place. Use this time to take notes about your new hires; who on the team will they get along with best? What time of the day are they the most productive? What frustrates them, and how do they handle it? What excites them about the job? What are they good at, and what do they struggle with? On the first day of training, I recommend keeping your trainees in bigger groups. This allows them to develop some relationships with other employees just learning the ropes, and can provide some level of comfort in comradery from day one. It also ensures that all trainees are started off on the same page, with the same messages. Use this day to clarify your organization’s mission and purpose to your new employees—give them a reason to be excited about what they are doing, and if possible, walk them through what a day in their new position will look like. Take questions in groups, if possible, and be upfront and honest in your answers. Being clear about your needs from the beginning will set a level of what you expect from them, and what they can expect from you. No surprises later. After you finish group orientation, pair each of your newbies up with one of your best employees. Have them shadow that person for a few hours, or even a few days. They should ask questions and follow them throughout the facility so they have a chance to learn where all the equipment they will need day-to-day is located. They will see firsthand how to solve any job-related issues that arise regularly. This also gives each new employee a relationship with someone who can be a mentor to them as they learn their new position, and gives the veteran employees an opportunity to make a connection and ease the transition of new members to the established team.
It is a great idea for the direct supervisor of each new employee to sit down with them individually about thirty days into their employment and discuss how things are going, where they feel like they could improve, and have them set some personal goals. It’s a great idea to sit down with some of the more senior employees as well and make sure the team is successfully accepting the new employees, and get a feel for how you can ease the transition.
Hiring and bringing new team members into your company is an exciting time, but comes with a lot of responsibilities. Make sure you’re providing your trainers and your trainees with all the tools they will need to be successful in their roles and set them up for a long and happy career with you and your team.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Stephanie Redieske is the owner and content writer for The Writing Division, www.thewritingdivision.com. She is a graduate of the English Program at Northern Illinois University, with an emphasis in Writing. She enjoys writing on a variety of topics and contributing to the success of organizations by developing content for newsletters, brochures, blogs, websites and more for the companies she works with. If you have any writing needs, she can be contacted by email at email@example.com or through Linked In at https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephanieredieske