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Everybody has an onboarding process

Hiring can be a bit like dating someone new.

That first impression went well, and in theory, this could be the start of a beautiful relationship. On the other hand, you don’t yet know each other very well. You’re at a point where it’s easy to miscommunicate even on the little things and even moreso the big expectations that make a relationship work.

Luckily you’re not actually dating this person and compatibility doesn’t have to run so deep. But you do have to work with them and work effectively, which is why it’s vital to put the right training structures in place to mainstream new hires and get them up to speed as quickly as possible. This is especially true with startups and small businesses that operate on limited budgets that can’t afford missteps in the hiring process.

With that in mind, we’ve pulled together some great tips to put you on the right track to get newbies in place and doing great work as fast as possible.

  1. Make your onboarding a systematic process. Training is big business these days, which means there’s now plenty of data to support best practices in the field. One of these practices is to put a consistent strategy in place to get new hires on track. Research has shown that the right kind of onboarding, meaning a supportive, proactive approach that works to the individual’s strengths within an organization, can get an employee fully set in half the time it may take otherwise, while reducing overall failure rates. Consistency is key, so it’s important to make sure everyone around the new hire is, well, on board with the flow of onboarding and ready to integrate the hire as they encounter them in their workflow.

  2. Allow for flexibility in the role. Yes, you hired this employee to fill a specific opening, but there’s no rule that says that’s all they’re allowed to do. In fact, you probably hired them because they showed an ability to go above and beyond, or because they hold useful skills that you want on your team but maybe don’t know how to use just yet. Make sure your new hire knows the inflexible rules (safety regulations, legal concerns etc.) but don’t be afraid to let them fill the role as their strengths allow, checking in on a regular schedule for a two-way conversation about how things are going.

  3. Be realistic. Hiring someone with a sterling resume and golden recommendations can set a high bar for their performance, so you may be feeling impatient when they don’t seem to be dazzling you right away. Just remember that they’re new, and while you don’t have to cut them a mile of slack, it’ll take some time for them to grow into their full potential on the team. Set realistic expectations and stick to them.

Hiring is just one management area that comes with the territory of successful entrepreneurship. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for coaching in this and the other things you’ll encounter as you branch out!

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