What are your expectations of this person? Do you expect them to fit right in and become productive right away? I think most business owners and HR personnel know it takes a bit for a new person to be fully functional.
But sometimes that’s not the case. Some business owners will want this new person to take on every aspect of the post and do it well from Day One. And for all of you capable of pulling that off, my hat’s off to you.
The down side to this approach is your new employee may stumble and make some key mistakes in the first few weeks. In addition to potentially affecting the company’s profitability, this scenario may also not bode well for the employee’s future with you.
Here’s an idea that may help you with this:
Give your new employee a gradually increasing number (and importance) of things to do.
Let’s say Sam is your new hire. Give Sam a few things to do in the first week and help Sam get the feel of things doing just those few things. If he has questions, make sure you (and other staff near him) answer these questions so he fully understands what’s needed and wanted. Ideally you should have written materials for Sam to study, but for now, we’ll assume you do not.
After this first week, you observe that Sam’s got a good grasp on what you’ve assigned to him, now assign some additional tasks and increase the level of responsibility associated with these tasks. Again, make sure he has no uncertainties about his duties. Be direct. “Sam, do you have any questions or uncertainties about your duties with us?”
If you move forward from Day One with this gradual increase in the number and importance of things you want Sam to do, you will most likely find a much more capable Sam after several weeks.
Everybody wins with that outcome.
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