You’ve survived the interview process and hired a new employee. But the work doesn’t end there. As the new employee enters the company, you need to make sure he or she understands your corporate culture, what is expected of him or her, what is appropriate and what is political suicide.
If you cannot help the new hire become acclimated, you face higher turnover rates and personnel costs. Repeating the hiring process over and over can also distract you from daily business duties. But if you can get that person to stay at least a year, there’s a strong likelihood he or she will remain at the company for a longer period of time.
“You need to have a strong mentoring and orientation program,” says Jessica Ford, director of sales and operations at Ashton Staffing. “You also need to find out new hires’ expectations of themselves and your organization, both for the short and long term. This will allow you to retain and better engage your employees.”
Smart Business spoke with Ford about how to set forth expectations for new hires, how to educate new hires on office policies, politics and appropriateness, and how a good mentoring program can help the new employee fit into the company.
How can you set forth expectations for new hires?
A common problem for new hires is that their job hasn’t been well-defined. If you can’t define what you want the new employee to do, it’s difficult to give him or her feedback. If you don’t understand the individual’s job description, how can you evaluate whether the employee is a good fit or not?
Many new hires falter on the job and leave quickly because they weren’t clear about your expectations. You may be too busy to create business plans and job descriptions, but these items can make life a lot easier as the company matures.
Every position in an organization should have a job description that is reviewed in detail with the employee during orientation. Make sure the new hire’s direct supervisor also reviews the job description since he or she will be measuring that employee’s performance. The new hire can also take this time to discuss his or her goals and
How do you educate new hires on office policies?
Every company, no matter what its size, should conduct a thorough orientation with all new hires at every level. A good orientation program should include a company history, the organization’s short- and long-term goals, basic office policies, and specific job goals and objectives. Every employee should know your company mission statement, slogans, awards achieved and your unique, distinguishing factors. Office policies, such as dress code, Internet tracking and payroll information, are essential to an employee fitting in and understanding the corporate culture.
Test your new hires on what they have learned once you complete the orientation. Some employees may feel uncomfortable during their first few weeks asking their trainer to explain something if they do not understand it. Test results show you areas that you might need to cover again with the new hire. At the end of orientation, the employee should feel valued and that you care about his or her future.
How do you educate new hires about appropriateness and office politics?
Appropriateness is closely tied to corporate culture. You need to understand whether polite chitchat before a meeting is proper etiquette or if it’s just considered a total waste of time.
Office politics is an issue that increases in importance as you move up the corporate ladder. A new hire needs to know whom to trust in the organization, the types of alliances to build and the people to avoid.
What should be included in a good mentoring program?
A strong mentoring program can help new hires learn the ropes about appropriateness and office politics. On-boarding is a process that pairs a new hire with a peer within the company who might come from a different department or discipline within the same unit.
The experienced employee should serve as a guide and mentor between six months to a year, depending on the new hire’s role and the corporate culture. The mentor explains where the minefields are and how to avoid them and encourages the new employee to meet promptly with his or her boss to clarify key objectives that will determine performance rating and incentive pay.
Assigning a mentor can be tricky. You may want to assign the new hire to the employee who has time available, but that can be a mistake. You need to choose your best employee for this role. If your best employee doesn’t have the time, make on-boarding part of his or her key performance objectives. Make sure to check back periodically with the mentor for feedback and make corrections if the program is not going as expected.
Jessica Ford is the director of sales and operations at Ashton Staffing. Reach her at (770) 419-1776 or email@example.com.