4 Field-tested Tips to Accelerate New Hire Productivity

A cartoon in which to Accelerate New Hire Productivity

Companies with High Growth Must Accelerate New Hire Productivity
While most talent leaders want to accelerate new hire productivity, the statistics on the high dissatisfaction rate of new employees should capture the attention of every leader looking to engage, develop and retain high performing talent.  The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology found:

  • 50% of all hourly employees leave their new jobs within 120 days
  • 50% of senior level employees fail before they reach year 3 on the job

Pretty dismal.

Invest Enough to Get a Return on Hiring Investments
When you have invested significant time and money to hire new talent, you look for a payoff…productive employees who:

  • Give discretionary effort to perform at their peak
  • Are strong advocates for the company, its leaders and its brand promise
  • Intend to stay for the long haul

So What Are Companies in the Study Doing Wrong?
It is not a matter of employee incompetence…we find that new hires are mostly able to handle their roles. But, after analyzing thousands of employee engagement surveys and following up on exit interviews at clients, it seems that too many new hires do not understand how to:

  • Effectively and efficiently get work done day-to-day
  • Quickly build important relationships within unique workplace cultural parameters
  • Wisely use the company’s business systems and processes

All three of these new hire issues should be covered in the first weeks of any new employee onboarding program.

Four Tips to Accelerate New Hire Productivity
Here are four tips to accelerate new hire productivity so new hires feel a part of the corporate culture, understand how to work the systems and become productive and engaged members of the workforce sooner.

1.  Train On Systems, Processes and Practices
Beyond the typical intro to the company’s mission and corporate values and filling in the necessary documents for HR, new employee onboarding should provide training on the organization’s specific systems and processes required to get work done. Experienced employees “get it” and know what to do and when to do it. But new employees are often at a loss.

Sure, most new hires are smart and eager; but they are probably not familiar with the nomenclature and shortcuts of your proprietary systems, processes and practices. Make sure you provide new employees with a simple, easy-to-use manual or a patient instructor so the systems they need to do their job become enablers, not obstacles.

2.  Assign a Coach
Just as having a “big brother” or “big sister” when you went off to school made the adjustment easier, so having a coach at work to show you the ropes can be a huge boost to the new employees. Assign a friendly expert who can help answer the little questions like “what is the password to access the online company directory” to big questions like “in this culture, is it better to go directly to the VP or to my manager to share what I’ve learned about …. “

3.  Provide Career Opportunities To Learn and Grow
Once new hires get their feet on the ground and are feeling more confident on the job, they should have ample opportunities to learn and grow. Make sure new employees are introduced to opportunities, training and employees that expose them to ideas, people, jobs, projects, strategies and cultural norms to help them learn and grow.

4.  Monitor Results
Overseeing the new hire onboarding process should include specific new hire success metrics to measure if your new hire approach is having an effect.

  • Are your new hires ramping up faster?
  • Are new hires staying on longer?
  • Are hiring managers more satisfied?
  • Are new employees more engaged?

When you don’t have the time or inclination for targeted pulse surveys, simply ask new employees during one-on-one feedback sessions. If you have built sufficient trust, your new hires should be able to fill you in on what has worked well for them and what needs to be improved. Then it’s your job to make suggested changes.

The Bottom Line
Do not stop investing after your new hire has accepted your job offer.  Invest in your new hires by making your onboarding process more effective to accelerate new hire productivity.  No one enjoys feeling like the awkward “new guy” any longer than necessary.

To learn more about how to accelerate new hire productivity, download 7 Field-tested New Employee Orientation and Onboarding Best Practices

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