When filling an open position, finding a quality candidate is only half the challenge. The other half is retaining good candidates and ensuring their ability to succeed once in the role.
Even a great candidate is unlikely to stay if leaders don’t provide support and resources for them to transition smoothly into their new position and workplace. Ensuring a new hire’s success is an ongoing process that requires long-term consideration and strategy.
If you’re wondering how to help a new hire succeed, here are some tips:
Take Preventative Measures to ensure the hire is the right fit.
The reality is that sometimes a new hire is unsuccessful because they simply aren’t the right person for the job. Rather than waste the first sixth months trying to determine whether someone is the right hire, put more effort into the hiring process so that you can effectively vet your candidates before committing to them.
Set expectations up-front (and be sure to enforce them).
It’s common for a new hire to be thrown into the position and not completely understand what is expected of them. In order to ensure a new hire’s success, it’s not enough to hand them a position description and leave them be. It’s critical that employers clearly communicate what is expected within the role and hold employees accountable for following through.
Imagine that you require sales staff to make at least 60 outbound calls a week, but your new employee is only hitting 50. If you say nothing and continue to let them miss the metric, they will learn that your boundaries can be pushed and will likely continue this behavior for as long as they work with you. But if you hold your new staff to high standards, their behavior will adapt, and they will engrain good habits early on.
Provide detailed onboarding documents.
Expectations should not only be verbally communicated but also clearly stated in writing. Providing your new hire with detailed onboarding documents allows them to easily refer to workplace processes and expectations and helps them remember procedures and policies. It’s also helpful for introverted employees who may feel insecure approaching supervisors with questions.
Give your new employee early wins.
It’s always important to acknowledge an employees’ strengths rather than just their weaknesses, but this is particularly beneficial early on. That said, it’s easier said than done. Leaders naturally tend to direct their attention to things that are broken and need fixing while the things that are going smoothly go unnoticed.
While employees do sometimes need to be pushed to reach their full potential, you don’t want to make them feel like a failure. Instilling fear without providing light at the end of the tunnel will make your new hire feel like a failure and therefore likely to give up effort or leave the position completely. Start by setting small goals for them and treating each one reached as a victory. No matter how mundane the task may seem, consistent encouragement is a great way to set your new hire up for success.
Develop a clear communication strategy.
Communication is critical to the success of any relationship. With new hires, it’s a particularly important tool for giving and receiving feedback.
If your new employee has a question or concern about a particular aspect of their job but does not feel they have the platform to express it, the issue will be overlooked and therefore their success in the role will be hindered. Alternatively, if the employee could be performing a task more effectively but you do not have a method in place to provide them with constructive criticism, they will maintain subpar performance.
To get around this, organize regular meetings and check-ins with your employee, at least initially, so there’s room for you both to communicate your needs.
Connect them with senior team members.
One of the best ways for employees to learn their way around a new workplace is by engaging with colleagues who have been there longer than them. Help your new hire out by connecting them with a senior mentor who they can observe, ask questions and vent to when needed. When leaders and supervisors are busy and hard to get a hold of, this relationship will prove especially beneficial to your new employee.
There is no one way to guarantee a new hire’s success but adopting these strategies is a good way to cover your bases. For more tips on how to foster employee success, head to our blog.