Tips to Bring a New Staff Member Up to Speed Quickly

Dec 2, 2015 | B2C / HCP

When you are a busy business owner, manager, or supervisor of any kind, then getting a new employee trained properly and then ramping them up to the desired production level cannot happen fast enough. It can be difficult for many people in management positions to balance the desire to get a high production level out of a new employee and to patiently give that person time to settle in. To help give some guidance on the matter, here are 5 ways that you can bring new employees up to speed quickly, while at the same time respecting their need to adapt to a new working environment:

  1. Get them off to a good start. This seems really obvious, but according to Dick Grote, author of How to Be Good at Performance Appraisals, a new employee is excited, nervous, and malleable during their first few months in a new position. It’s important to be thoughtful and deliberate about their first few months. Be welcoming, patient, and friendly with the new hire, while at the same time being direct about the company’s core mission, values, and overall direction so that they can adapt to the culture. Show them what it means to be a part of your team so that they can connect on an emotional level.
  2. Give them a set of standards, expectations, and boundaries. Not only do you need to communicate to a new hire how they should properly do their job, they should also be learning the boundaries and expectations the company will be setting upon them. Employees feel much more comfortable in a new job when they know exactly what is expected of them, so giving them a good set of rules will help them tremendously.
  3. Put yourself in their shoes. Coming into a new company is difficult for many reasons, and having coworkers that are difficult with the new hire will make them feel all the more overwhelmed. Inviting the new employee to lunch, introducing them to other associates, giving welcoming baskets or gifts, or just a friendly hello will help them feel less social pressure at a time when they are trying to adapt in many ways.
  4. Encourage other company members to help encourage and guide the new hire. Show your team that a welcoming and helpful environment breeds trust, loyalty, and overall job contentment. When the entire team helps to contribute when training a new hire, not only do they learn faster and become a greater asset more quickly, but they also feel desired and welcome. This will also promote greater moral amongst the existing team members, who will feel more valued as well.
  5. Be patient and give them some time to adapt and grow into their new role. It is easy to forget that learning a new job usually takes around 3 months on average, and being a good productive employee usually takes 6. Always keep in mind that the systems, routines, and office quirks are all new to this person, and so something that seems so intuitive to you has not yet sunk in for them. Even the best employees will probably struggle at first, so be patient and kind to them when they are battling with disappointment and waning enthusiasm. Guide them, but give them space, and after a long enough time has passed, then a fair evaluation can be made of the new hire’s potential value.