The biggest reasons that employees fail in a new job within the first 90 to 180 days is lack of instruction, communication and training. These all roll up into one workable solution: positive on-boarding for new hires. I have seen so many individuals that have great potential struggle under a poor boss. They ultimately fail and leave because a supervisor or manager who has little understanding for the importance and value of taking time to effectively initiate or “on-board” their new hire.

What steps actually make a difference in new hire success? The reality is, any effort at all made to introduce, train, communicate and instruct on what your expectations are goes a long way towards changing your recruitment efforts from constant to infrequent thereby reducing turnover, if you implement just a few of the following steps…

• Welcome each new employee and show them around.

• Introduce them to their team and show them the work area.

• Spend time with them in their new job and assign a “partner” to show them the ropes.

• Have a manager or supervisor take them to lunch during their first week.

• Map out a schedule of training, shadowing and hands-on learning for the first 2-4 weeks.

• Explain those aspects of the job which are most important: guest service ability, reliability/attendance, & being a team player, for example.

• Keep lines of communication open and check back with the new person regularly and frequently, at least at first.

If we want our new employees to be successful, training and communication are essential. For people to succeed they need to have a clear understanding of what to do, how to do it, and what you expect them to accomplish and by when. They also need to be included in all communication, be provided clear expectations, shown that their efforts are appreciated, and then given feedback on how they are doing or what to improve.

As an HR professional, I have watched time and again as overworked and harried managers just “throw a new employee to the wolves” with the philosophy of “sink or swim,” only to wonder and/or complain about the fact that the person didn’t work out and now they have to find another victim and start all over again. The process or steps I’ve explained above can be developed into a template to use over and over again. List each step by the type of activity and assign either a number of hours, days or weeks for the various activities. If you have staff to assist you, you can even assign a different manager, for each task, and for each new hire so that everyone is engaged in the new person’s training, introduction and success.

You will find that this process is as good for you, the manager, as it is for the new hire. A positive and structured on-boarding process can and will result in a well-adjusted and more productive new hire and more quickly. I encourage you to develop your “on-boarding” plan and see if the results if you stick to the plan don’t speak for themselves. The reality is, don’t you have better things to do with your time than to keep repeating your mistakes? I’d say that the answer to that question would be a collective…“Yes!”

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