Thursday, February 9, 2012

New Employees Make Great Appetizers

How do you bring new employees on board? I don't mean the mandatory orientation program...or the token tour of the department/facility/campus. I mean how do you connect with the people you are putting your trust in to make yourself successful? That's right. You are dependent on your new hire for your success.

Have you ever put onboarding into that context? I didn't think so.

Probationary Periods Are Lame
Have you ever heard a manager say that if their new employee doesn't work out they will just cut them loose at the end of the probation period? I hate that line. After all of the work to source, recruit, interview, hire, train, and most importantly trust that new employee the manager is willing to throw it all away and begin again. Here's the catch: when the manager make these comments they are actually admitting they are unable to select and lead their new employees. In effect, they are admitting they are a failure.

Have you ever put probation periods into that context? I didn't think so.

Invest the Time
New employees do not magically "get up to speed" in their new environments. They need to know they have time to learn, that it's okay to ask questions, and that the goal is their development not a race to some random date when they are supposed to be "competent." Don’t allow the environment (other employees, corporate culture, etc) to eat them alive as they are adapting to their new role. Set expectations, communicate regularly and never assume anything. They're counting on you to be there so they can be a productive member of the team and keep their career moving forward. They are dependent on you (and me) for their success. You made a huge investment on behalf of your organization when you hired this person. Don't waste the company's money.

Have you ever put company investments into that context? I didn't think so.

October 22, 2006

How About You
Who have you recently brought onto your team? Do they know you are patient, willing to support them, and are not in a rush to get to a mysterious end date? Or, are they watching other new hires get pushed out the door as their probation period wraps up? Have you ever thought about that before?

I'd love to hear from  you.

No Excuses.

pic courtesy of dilbert


  1. Jay you are dead on about our approach with new hires. It is imperative that HR take the lead in this and learn how to integrate new hires quickly vs. getting them "on board." If it was valuable enough to hire them, then it should be even more important to keep them viable !! Great post.

    1. Thanks Steve. One of my pet peeves is when new employees leave. There has to be a better way to support these folks...and I'm convinced HR should lead the way.

  2. Love this Jay. HR needs to set the example and train managers to do the same. It should be the entire company's responsibility to help new employees succeed.

    1. Thank you Cathleen. I agree, once the wheels are in motion with a new hire and HR has made the hand-off, the new manager has to ensure the experience is a good one!

  3. This is a great post, Jay. How about a mentoring/buddy program with a peer who perhaps has a lateral job, in a different department. Perhaps to meet up for lunch once a month, or week to keep them 'on board'. New hires may be afraid to speak to HR or Dept. Managers for fear of being booted after 90, but a seasoned positive buddy might get them through those sometimes challenging times with mentoring. Just a random thought~!