As leaders, we are usually involved in the onboarding process of new hires or at the very least we know people who have recently started a new position. As part of the onboarding program at CREW, I spend time with every new person we hire when they first arrive. I tell them the origin story of the agency, provide insight into the culture, help cast the vision of where we’re going and how they fit into it and I conclude by telling them to memorize our mission, vision, and values as I’ll put them on the spot at their first “ALL CREW MEETING” at the end of the month.
However, there are three pieces of advice I give to new hires on how to be successful and I believe this advice extends to anyone at almost any organization.
1. Ask a lot of Questions.
Every new hire wants to prove to their new manager and the team that they were the right choice. However, sometimes these well-meaning employees are afraid to ask questions because they don’t want to look stupid in front of their peers or managers and they end up sabotaging their good intentions. As a leader, you need to give permission to new hires to ask a lot of questions and create a culture where helping each other with these questions is not only accepted but encouraged. An employee is hired because management believes they have the ability and aptitude to excel at the role, but we know a new employee will not know the company or industry as much as the current team. Asking questions ensures clarity of expectations and it accelerates the learning process so that you can start seeing value earlier from new people.
2. Learn the Tools Fast.
Every company has a set of tools needed to complete the job at hand. Every new hire needs to learn to use these – fast. Point out that reading manuals or viewing online tutorials at night on these tools is a great investment of time for their new role. Nothing impedes the progress of a new hire more than being too slow with the tools of the trade. If they don’t take the initiative to learn these quickly, that’s probably a red flag from the start and it’s better to know this in the probationary period.
3. Find Ways to Add Value.
A new hire can usually see issues or inefficiencies better than the rest of the company within the first 3 months. I recommend that they keep a journal and write down their ideas and thoughts for overall company improvement and then I review it with them at their 3-month check-in/performance review. My main role as a leader is to constantly improve the organization and what better way than from learning from new people in their onboarding experience, training, culture, and other ways we do business.
The investment to find, hire and train new people is always increasing and ensuring you set them up for success right from the start is a key function as a leader today.
Have a great day!