New employees are often hired when they’re urgently needed, so from a manager’s perspective, they can’t get up to speed quickly enough! But while it’s unrealistic to expect a new employee in any specialized roles to “hit the ground running,” you can greatly increase productivity with smooth onboarding, supportive team members, and the right training.
If you want your new hire to perform well, you have to give them a good start. Here are some strategies to help boost your new hire’s productivity quickly:
1. Set expectations early on
It’s important that your employee knows what exactly they will be held accountable for, and what their job description entails from the get-go. If there are any particular metrics that performance will be measured or scheduled performance reviews, let your new hire know in the beginning.
If you expect certain milestones to be met on a timeline, this should also be given to your new employee in writing or training packet that can be referenced throughout the training period.
2. Involve your whole team
Everyone needs a go-to person to help show them the ropes, answer questions, and familiarize them with the workspace and lingo. In addition to having a primary mentor, you can really get your new hire up to speed by getting the whole team involved. With each new hire, let your team know that it’s a collective effort to set them up for success. Having the support of the entire team will make your new employee feel more welcomed, confident, and gives them access to more resources.
3. Keep onboarding organized and efficient
You want your new employee’s first couple days to be enjoyable and informative – not spent doing paperwork or other onboarding tasks. However, you also don’t want to be too informal with the onboarding process. For this reason, it’s best to begin onboarding as soon as possible, before your new hire’s first day. To keep your onboarding process smooth and timely, create a master checklist of all the things that need to be done prior to their first day, or within the first week of work:
- Setting up their workstation
- Creating a welcome packet
- Ordering business cards, badges, other stationary
- Creating login information, email, or other technology access
- Adding to email lists
- Ordering keys
When onboarding is taken care of quickly and seamlessly, it allows your new hires to focus on training on day one.
4. Systemize your training
Think about your company’s current approach to training. Aside from a handbook, what approaches are being used on the floor? To avoid inconsistencies among different training staff and ensure all employees are on the same page at the end of training, a systemized approach helps.
Systemized doesn’t being impersonal or robotic, it means building on the techniques that you know are effective and then turning it into a standardized process. Prioritize with the most crucial parts of the job first, and think about whether each new task is building off previously learned skills.
5. Discourage multitasking
Though you might want your new hires to have a real sense of the tasks they’ll be expected to do, resist the urge to dump everything on them at once. You want the information they’re learning to sink in, and the ability to multitask only comes after one task becomes second nature and deeply ingrained. However, you may want to discourage multitasking altogether, as this study shows the negative effects it can have on performance.
Get your new hires solid on one area before introducing something else. It’s much better to have your new hire productive and helpful in one area, than floundering to accomplish all the tasks of a seasoned staff member.
6. Expose them to the real job (don’t coop them up in a training room)
Training rooms can be helpful when the job requires a lot of reading or an area away from distractions, but give them time in the real job as well. Being on the job, whether shadowing or putting their skills to the test, will expose them to common scenarios and questions that can’t be replicated in the training room.
One of the best ways to improve your onboarding and training process is by asking your current employees how they felt their training went. How long did it take before they felt confident in their performance and like they were a part of the team? Insights from your staff is some of the most valuable information you can get, so use that when working to improve and systemize your training process.