This week's guest post is by Sarah Kulbatski, professional franchise consultant.
Orientation is a critical aspect of employee retention. Since the orientation process takes time and planning in order to be effective, this article will focus on the next critical aspect, which is following up with new employees.
When a company is committed to drawing the right people, they in turn develop good people. This can help a company that is making an effort to be an “employer of choice.” If you speak to people who work for such organizations, you probably know that their recruiting efforts are eased by the fact that candidates come to them asking for the privilege of working together. So how do you do your part to help your employer achieve that prestigious status? The answer is simple: by checking in with new employees.
Just think of it this way - checking in with your employees will deter them from checking out. Some of the greatest leaders are remembered because of the power of the questions that they ask. Simply meeting with someone every two weeks and asking “How are things going?” might be your management style, but it may not really generate useful, meaningful interaction. Be a thoughtful manager, ask good, open ended questions, and you will empower your people to act. Sometimes your follow up will be based on an employee orientation checklist, and simply making sure that each area is covered satisfactorily. Other items may get added to your checklist based on your conversations with the employee. These regular interactions, which may be short and seem informal, or follow a more formal tone, also give the employee the opportunity to ensure that he/she has made the best decision possible in coming to work with you. If that person is able to get the information they need when they need it, your chances of developing a strong, engaged employee, continue to grow.
Setting up and following a regular schedule to integrate your new employee is recommended. Depending on the role they are hired to perform, and the constraints of your own role, the schedule will vary, but there are two key schedule items to focus on:
- The employee should meet with you each day in the first week.
- The employee should meet with you (or your designate) every two weeks for the first three months on the job, and monthly thereafter.
The following suggested questions are effective, in that they focus on strengths as well as opportunities, and when applied properly, will help keep the employee focused on the future. You should also be able to notice and highlight any shortcomings or areas that require development when having your short, friendly meeting with your new employee:
- What is working well for you?
- What challenges are you noticing?
- What is motivating you right now?
- What do you wish to learn?
- Am I meeting your expectations as your supervisor or manager?
- What are your short term goals (between now and our next meeting)?
- Do you have any questions for me?
If you are new at providing this level of follow up for a new employee, and think it’s too much, then temper your approach accordingly. But always keep in mind the way that the new employee feels about your workplace, their level of engagement, and what those meetings can do to ensure that you have made a good choice hiring this person.