As your business starts to grow, so must your team.
However, it’s not as easy as merely hiring the first person who meets your criteria. There’s a fine balance when it comes to curating an employee base that suits your business. Hiring new members of the team can be a tad daunting at first, especially if you already have a tight-knit staff in place.
Ideally, you’d like to hit the ground running with your newest employee (or, indeed, employees), but you need to make sure that they are quick to learn the ropes and that they keep growing and learning after that. So, how can you make sure that your new recruit is up to speed and ready to take on their own unique set of tasks?
Well, there are actually a few tips that you can use to aid you in just this job. Take note of the following advice and you’re sure to get your team members working to the very best of their potential in no time at all.
1. Define and explain your company culture
You should never make the mistake of believing that one company runs like any other. Just because your new recruit has five years experience in a similar venture, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they will understand how your company works right away. Instead, you are going to need to guide them along the way here somewhat and ensure that they are fully prepared.
Believe it or not, your business has its own unique culture. That is; how the mechanics of the business work, what pace you tend to work at, how staff communicate, and what level of input you expect from each member. It may sound like a lot to take in, but much of this happens subconsciously on a day-to-day basis. Now, it’s time to convey how things run to your new staff member in an easy-to-understand manner.
During the hiring process, you should have already assessed how well you think that this employee will ‘fit in’ with your team. On their first day, make efforts to elaborate on this matter. Explain and affirm to them how their personality and skill set will work within the current workplace dynamic and be sure to show faith in them at this early stage.
2. Set goals, expectations, and timelines
Next, it’s time to talk about goals and expectations. You likely have an idea of what you expect of this employee in your mind already. You absolutely need to make sure that you articulate these goals to them as soon as possible. Let’s face it, the sooner your staff member knows what you want from them, the sooner they can get started on delivering.
This stage is not something that you should ever breeze over. Schedule a meeting with your recruit on their very first day. You should use the time to set KPIs or goals that are attainable. (Remember, this is a discussion, not a dictatorship. Ask your staff member what they think is achievable and use that as a starting point.)
When you have the goals in place, be certain to set some timelines. A target with no deadline is nothing more than a wish or a hop; it may never get done. You need to keep things tight and concise. Arrange a follow up meeting to check on the goals and then a final meeting to ensure that they have been met. This task will mean that your new employee understands what they are working toward and when they need to get there.
3. Create a business ‘cheat sheet’
As we’ve already discussed, there’s a whole ton of information that your new recruit needs to take on board here. While you should, of course, explain as much as possible, there’s an easy way to make sure that nothing goes amiss. Yes, it’s time to create a business ‘cheat sheet’ for your staff member.
In short, this is a list of frequently asked questions and their answers, written down in a simple way. There may be things that your employee will want to ask you during their first few weeks, like ‘Who deals with late payments/invoices’ or ‘Where should I pick up the staff mail. Rather than having them bother you constantly with these somewhat minor issues, refer them to the ‘cheat sheet.’ It’s a real time-saver and will make your staff member feel more secure.
4. Consider a mentorship program
For those of you with larger teams, a mentorship program could be the answer. This scheme allows you to focus on running your business (which is top priority) while another staff member effectively trains your recruit. It’s so simple! When your new employee enters the company, pair them up with a work ‘buddy’ who will help them get to grips with the way things work.
This type of system works many levels. First of all, it means that your recruit has someone they can ask questions of and go to should they need help. It also brings a level of accountability into the frame, since the mentor or ‘buddy’ will have to take on some of the responsibility here. What’s more, it means that your new employee gets instantly integrated into the social side of the workplace and, therefore, feels more comfortable in their new work position.
5. Build a working relationship
Finally, here’s perhaps the most crucial of all the tips — you need to forge a relationship with your new staff member. For any company to work, the employees must feel comfortable around their boss and actively want to work hard to see that the business is a success. You don’t get these things by distancing yourself from your team, but rather by taking a serious role in the heart of it. Building positive professional relationships with your staff means that you will get the very best out of them from the offset.
Now, this does not mean that you should overshare about your personal life or attempt to be best friends with your team members. No, instead, you need to set professional boundaries and ensure that you are approachable while still being in charge. Be certain to check in with your staff — especially new members — on a regular basis to see if there’s anything that needs to change or if they have any new idea to bring to the table. Doing so will yield great results and ensure your recruit feels like part of the team instantly.
Of course, onboarding new staff members is tricky business, but so long as you’re savvy, you can get it right. In time, your recruit should become a key part of the team, and that is something that needs to be made known to them from the beginning. After all, the company’s successes are their successes, and so everything needs to work in sync. So long as you follow the advice here, set boundaries, and keep tabs on what’s happening, you’re certain to get your new staff member up to speed in no time at all. Good luck!