Assimilating Your New Employee

Now that you have spent so much time and effort hiring the right person, it is important to get them assimilated in your company immediately and headed in the right direction. In this months article we will discuss what to do with your new hire and how to make sure they get off on the right foot.

Being a new employee can be a thrilling and nerve-racking experience. Employees often feel excited about the new opportunity they have been offered but can also be apprehensive about fitting in to a new environment with new co-workers and stepping into an unfamiliar role. As an employer it is your job to do the best you can to make your new hire feel welcome and set them up for success by supplying them with the tools they need to do their job.

One of your responsibilities is to ease the stress of their first day and to be prepared for them. Have their office or workspace ready as well as any tools they will need to do their job; such as a computer, printer, uniform and/or nametag. The other important thing you can do is assign your new hire a mentor, or a buddy. This should be done before their start date so that the mentor has time to prepare. The mentor should be responsible for training, showing your new hire around, making introductions and checking in with the new hire periodically throughout each and every shift to be sure the training program is getting completed. It would be helpful to provide the new hire and mentor with a training plan put together by other incumbents of the job. The written training plan should include all aspects of the new hires job such as; how to use company computer systems or the correct handling of customer complaints. The mentor you appoint should be someone who has been at your company for awhile, is familiar with the policies and procedures and is a top performer. Being a mentor is a big commitment that your employees should take seriously; I recommend that you financially incent the trainer. $.50 an hour for the training time is sufficient. They need to be willing and have the time to take on this new hire. You should work with the appointed mentor to ensure they understand the training plan. This training plan should have a completion due date and both the mentor and new hire should be clear on this date. It is important that you supply your new hire with the skills and training they need to be successful. This should be the responsibility of the mentor as well as the new hire. It is also important that you let the new hire know to ask questions and raise flags if they are not getting the support they need to learn their new job.

Most companies have some sort of new employee orientation. This is a time for a manager or HR person to go over company policies and procedures and get the new hire paperwork in order. It typically includes information on; workplace safety, the job description, the work environment, benefits and eligibility, information on company culture and an organizational chart. It is also a time for new hires to ask questions about their employment and understand issues such as parking, breaks and logging hours etc. If you don't have a new employee orientation this would be a great time to develop one. It would give you an opportunity to go over your company handbook and reiterate policies and procedures to new and existing employees so that everyone is consistent and you are offering a consistent guest encounter.

As a manager it is important that you do what you can to develop a strong and cohesive team. To support teamwork and relationships it is important that your new hire be assimilated into the team quickly. It may be helpful to organize a time for employees to get to know their new team members and vice versa. This can be done by organizing a team lunch or by having a meeting with your team and the new employee. If time does not allow this simply conduct a short stand up meeting to be sure the new employee knows his/her new team members.

These things should help your new hire feel more comfortable and should enable them to ramp up their skills quickly. In the next article we will be discussing “your investment” and how to motivate and keep employees.

Published Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Bryon Peterson is the President of Human Resources Group International. HRGI is a group of human resources consultants with over 25 years of experience in the field. HRGI provides comprehensive human resources products and services to businesses throughout the United States, and Canada. Its mission is to provide an integrated and highly effective working environment for companies and their employees.

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