Building Future Leaders out of New Hires

Think back to the last time you started a new job. The entire process can be daunting and at times overwhelming. Tossing and turning in bed while mulling over the potential challenges that await. Arriving in the parking lot with that pit in your stomach and, often times, finding out your employment is a surprise to many of your new colleagues. As employers, we are responsible for making sure the business makes a good first impression. Finding dependable, qualified people can be a time consuming challenge. A good first impression increases the chances a business has in retaining the talented employee you spent so much time trying to find.

All too often, new hires can find themselves feeling as though they are on an island, watching training videos and suffering through orientation. Before you begin piling on all the expectations, provide your new resource with a mentor, someone that has done this person’s job before. Once someone arrives for their first day of work they should have a clear understanding of what they will be doing. The time needed to pick up on the nuances of the job and work environment, however, can be greatly reduced if someone is there to pass along their tribal knowledge of the phone tree, which clients to watch out for and where to find coffee.

It is imperative to take the steps needed to prepare a new employee’s work area prior to their first day. Ensuring all departments have been made aware of the new employee’s start date, job role and a bit of background information can enhance the overall perception of the work environment from the start. People want to feel needed and arriving to work on your first day only to find nobody knew you were coming can be disheartening. Beginning the day with a tour of the office and introductions to key employees can help people ease into their new environment before they begin training. Starting with simple tasks and building to more complex, overarching goals generally wields more positive results than sending people into the fire on their first day, or even week. At IQ, given the nature of our work as Information Technology support engineers, we lob “softball” issues to new employees over the course of their first several weeks. This affords the new resource time to build their confidence and refine sometimes rusty troubleshooting acumen before taking on the more difficult and commonplace issues they will face in the future.

Remember that employment is a two way street, the employee and employer are equally lucky to have each other. Conversations, like relationships, go both ways. Make sure to seek your new resource’s feedback. Conveying your care and concern for their wellbeing might be the difference between building a new leader or starting the interview process all over again.