Flicking a New Hire’s ‘On’ Switch in Five Simple Steps

May 30, 2014

Flicking a New Hire’s ‘On’ Switch in Five Simple Steps

We’ve all had to go through the process of working with the new starters who hit the floor with a bang, instead of riding off towards the sunset (in a good way) – and if the phrase ‘recruitment drive’ sends your head spinning, then you’ve probably experienced this kind of chaos more than once!

But getting your new hire to hit the ground running really doesn’t have to be a headache. In fact, these five simple steps are incredibly easy to implement, and will ensure that every person you hire has a real shot at success – without any head pain for you!

Step One: The Road Test

Once you’ve hired a person, you’ve gone past the point of no return – you can’t just return a new employee back to the shop and demand your money back if something goes wrong.

So before you even consider hiring someone, you should first bring them in for a trial day (or even a half-day, or just an hour). Have them do some real work and see how they handle it – and once you’ve hired them, you can move onto step two.

Remember: Don’t just hire based on this trial day alone – make sure to see plenty of relevant work samples if possible during your recruitment process. It might be that they don’t perform well under pressure, and in some environments, there’s no shame in that.

Step Two: The Task List

Once you’ve made a new hire, there’s one essential piece of paperwork you should have in place and ready for each person’s very first day – The Task List.

This should be a clear set of goals that runs them through their first three months, and it not only makes sure they’re performing the job you hired them for from the off, but it gives them confidence in knowing they’re working on the right things.

Tip: Positive reinforcement works wonders. You could offer an incentive or pay rise if they pass this ‘probationary’ period successfully – it’s a great way to help your new star to shine, and it works far better than threatening Job Loss in the event of failure.

Step Three: The Buddy

It can feel lonely and confusing in a new job, and this doesn’t help us perform to the best of our abilities.

By giving each new hire a ‘buddy’ – a more experienced colleague who performs the same, or similar, job roles, to offer advice, support, and a shining example – your new hire will have a role-model to base their actions on, and to help them out if they go wrong.

Hint: Be careful who you select as a ‘buddy’ – you might end up with some of those bad habits rubbing off, as well as the good!

Step Four: The ‘Quick Win’

There’s absolutely no harm in setting a simple, achievable task for each new hire.

The ‘Quick Win’ could be a short project that needs little on-the-job experience, or a routine task that is regularly performed within the starter’s job role. Either way, it should provide them with a challenging but achievable positive outcome, to help reinforce the positive mental attitude to go ahead and achieve even more challenging ‘wins’ throughout the new starter’s career.

Remember: Do not tell your new hire that this is a ‘Quick Win’ project – it will take out all of the concept’s merit!

Step Five: The Appreciation

The final step is one that should continue for the rest of the time each starter is employed at your company, and involves, quite simply, saying ‘Thank You’ for a job well-done.

According to research from the hallowed grounds of Harvard Business School, outbound call volumes increased by 50% when the CEO visited each worker to personally thank them for their input.

Remember: Thanks should always be sincere, and never shallow – thanking an employee for nothing is about as effective as not thanking them for something.

So there you have it – the five simple steps to hitting the ground running with every new hire.

Now go out there and make us proud!

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