After the Honeymoon

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How do you ensure success in the first three months of your new hire’s employment?

March 01, 2002

 

Bill Carpitella

The hire is made, the orientation complete; now you are ready for that big return on your investment. But what if the rookie does not understand how to get help? How do you ensure success in the first three months of your new hire’s employment?

You should help your new employee focus on the short-term goals and provide every tool imaginable to him/her to meet or exceed the expectations. You should also communicate and give frequent feedback on required attitudes and cultural style. Plus, you should introduce and jump-start the team building process with key internal employees who will be truly critical to the new hire’s positive interaction in future years.

Here are action items to get you and your new hire out of the gate at full speed:

 

 

  • Set up 30- to 60-minute sessions between the new hire and your key personnel right after the orientation. Prepping your new hire and your existing employees on the expected outcome is essential. The new hire should leave the session with a full understanding of the existing issues, internal employees’ roles, how they interact and how to nurture a growing relationship.

     

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  • Assign a mentor. This almost guarantees a new hire’s success, particularly in the first three to nine months. The mentor must understand his/her role and be trained or monitored so as to ensure that progress is under way. To accelerate the new hire’s learning and to lower the turnover during the first nine months, the mentor should be a nonthreatening coach, friend, confidante and counselor. Keeping the mentor throughout the first year of employment is imperative. Then have the mentored assume the mentoring. This role reversal is a great opportunity for the new hire to give back and stimulate him/her to engage in this practice in the future.

     

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  • Fully define additional skills on which the new employee should focus but is not told of at the time of hire. For instance, if you hire a superintendent who lacks finish skills but is excellent at framing, help him/her spend time with your finish crews and assign them finish work that can be evaluated. The same process would work if your new hire lacked strong communication skills with customers. A training scenario or real-time problem solving on the issue with a mentor often helps.

     

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  • Finally, provide every tool your business has to educate and create awareness on the part of the new hire to ensure success. For example, provide all the information you have on your vendors’ history and performance, the scheduling challenges, system reports that might be hard to interpret, supplier agreements and any computer scheduling training direction required.

    When the honeymoon is over, your new hire’s job performance is really up to you.

    Bill Carpitella is president and CEO of the Sharrow Group, a Rochester, N.Y.-based human resources firm. Contact him at bill@sharrowgroup.com.

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