It can take weeks for a newly hired employee to learn the ropes. In fact, research shows it can take eight months for a new hire to reach full productivity. Whether you’re hiring someone new to the promotional products industry or an experienced industry professional, it helps to get them up to speed as quickly as possible.
Michelle Kankousky, a learning and development consultant at Insperity, says managers can set their new hires up for success well before they begin. For example, you might consider sending a personality assessment to discover how your new employee learns and communicates best.
Once the new hire officially begins, Kankousky says there are some simple ways to shorten their learning curve. We share her thoughts in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.
Pair up. Assigning a buddy is one of the best ways to get a new hire up to speed. This colleague can answer questions and help the new employee navigate company culture. If you’re unavailable, the new employee can check in with their buddy for help. This match-up is beneficial whether your team works remotely or in the office.
Create a custom training plan. If your new employee is coming from within the promotional products world, they likely have a solid understanding of how the industry operates and the current issues facing industry professionals. However, if they’re new to the field, they’ll need more extensive training.
Establish communication checkpoints. Kankousky recommends creating set points where you and your new hire (and possibly the buddy) touch base. This is a time to talk about how the new employee is acclimating to the company and understanding procedures. These checkpoints help you see where the new hire may need more or different training.
Follow up and follow through. To get your newly hired employee up to speed, make sure you check in regularly and provide what you say you will provide.
Let the employee know how they’re doing. As your new hire adapts to their new role, take time to provide feedback. Remember that people want and need to know when they’re doing things correctly, says Kankousky. They also want to know how they’re fitting in. Make your feedback as specific as possible so the new employee knows what behaviors or actions to repeat.
Encourage two-way communication. When you bring someone on to your team, it’s important to invite open communication that flows in all directions. This means that managers must be receptive to receiving communication—whether it’s positive or negative. Foster an environment where your new hire can let you know when you need to be clearer, says Kankousky.
Getting new employees up to speed doesn’t have to drag on weeks or months. In many cases, you can even start onboarding new hires before they begin. Get to know their personality and working preferences and send them a copy of your company’s mission statement or core values. You can also pair them up with a workplace buddy who can show them the ropes. Develop a personalized training plan and follow up frequently to make sure the new employee is catching on. If you fit the training to the person and follow through, you’ll succeed at shortening the learning curve.
Compiled by Audrey Sellers
Source: Michelle Kankousky is a corporate learning and development consultant at Insperity. She has more than 16 years of HR experience.
Used with permission from PPAI Media