I have had the opportunity to interview a number of leaders from both non-profit and for-profit organizations. As a part of the conversation I always try to ask about how they or their organization mentors new employees or employees who have been placed in a new position. Almost unanimously the answer is 'we need to do a better job of this.' In one organization I was called into to coach an employee who had just been put in a new position...he was not doing very well. It didn't take long to see why:
- he did not have a job description
- no one had communicated expectations of the job
- no one was assigned to help him understand the new job
- no plan was implemented for communication between the new employee and supervisor
- evaluations were always reactions to mistakes
- positive feedback was non-existent
No matter how competent the employee, he was being set up to fail.
Through these conversations and observations, I have been challenged to establish a plan to help get employees off to a good start.
Through the interview process make sure the employee has the skills to carry out the job
- communicate the expectations of the job clearly
- set up meetings, the first few days on the job, between new employees and those he will engage with
- do all within my power to help the new employee understand the culture of the organization
- include the new employee in lunches or other social events with peers
- meet with the new employee on a daily basis for the month, review expectations, making sure I am supporting him as he needs
- conduct a formal review of the employee every three months for the first year
- continue weekly one-on-one meetings with employee (I use this time for review performance, goals and training)
Do you have a plan in place to walk beside new employees for their and your benefit?
Have you witnessed examples of organizations of putting an employee in a new position and not offering proper support or evaluation?