As we’ve said many times in this space, nothing is as reliably constant as change.
And given the volatile nature of our current economy, it’s not unlikely you’re seeing more new faces in your office than in recent times.
That’s why having a structured and consistent on-boarding process for new employees is more important than ever. You can’t take anything for granted when it comes to running your ship smoothly; good management doesn’t just happen. Here are three tips that came to mind during a recent plane flight that are just as appropriate for businesses on the ground as the ones 35,000 feet in the air.
Always explain the journey. I know, we tend to tune out the pilot as he explains where we’re going, how fast and how high…but a comprehensive overview of every trip is truly the best and safest way to get started.
So it is for a new hire. Sometimes you may feel like you’re overdoing it, especially with a seasoned professional, but it’s far better to over-explain the goals, processes and culture of the new organization than to leave those things to chance. Rather than let them stumble through their new assignment and learn by doing things wrong, do your best to ensure their success, right from takeoff…it will result in more productivity right out of the gate, and create a more comfortable flight for everyone.
Confirm responsibilities. How often do you find yourself in an “emergency row” when flying? (Lately for me, it seems like every time.) But have you noticed? No one ever assumes you’re aware of the responsibilities that come with this seating location—in fact, the flight crew goes out of their way to explain your duties and confirm that you’re up for them.
So it goes with the job responsibilities of a new position–especially the little things that may not show up in the employee handbook. A simply copy of the job description doesn’t cut it; make and keep an updated checklist of what the position REALLY does, and take time to review all those little details with your new arrival, in casual settings like an occasional off-site lunch as well as more formal office meetings.
Stow that excess baggage. This is especially important for in-house transfers. Most everyone is going to arrive with the experience and knowledge necessary to do the job—assuming your hiring process works! But they may also show up with a few not-so-good habits engrained in them from their previous work environment.
Take advantage of this fresh start. Make sure they know they’re working from a blank canvas, and negative attitudes or relationships that existed at their previous assignment no longer apply. Stow that excess baggage and focus on the new job duties and goals.
Remember, sometimes the best response to “We used to do it this way” is simply “Yes. You used to do it this way.”
Grow Big or Go Home!