On-ramping New Employees

A new employee cannot work fast enough. Balancing the needs of the novice to learn the tricks of the business and your desire to make it fast is a challenge for any boss in a short time. What is the best way to integrate your new employee?

Focus on culture

  • Most managers focus on orienting the new employee to the company – strategy, formal structures – or explain the rules by going through the Employee Handbook or sharing compliance rules. All of this is important, “but the focus should be on culture and politics, and you should not wait until the first day of the employee to raise the topic. Effective integration begins during the hiring phase – when you interview potential attitudes and ratings. Be honest about how things work and answer questions. Once the employee has started, you should take your time in the first meetings to continue the conversation. If your new employee comes from outside the company, you should not assume that they know everything about the organization and the industry. Take the extra time to acclimate them. Help them understand the momentum of the debriefing meeting by addressing some of the more subtle aspects of interpersonal relationships that a stranger would not know. A social connection will help your new employee to better understand culture or politics. Before you begin, think about it: who needs to know this person to be successful? Start with three people and facilitate the presentations between them and the new teammate.

Set expectations from the beginning

  • Your new employee must know the job expectations right from the start. Every new employee or employee in transition will receive a copy of their performance review. The first day, the manager reviews the form and uses it as a tool to explain how performance is measured and what it is held to account for.

Give them time to grow

  • So how long does it take for your new employee to get used to his position? About 90 days, if you look at high-ranking people moving into a company, the research shows they believe they add value for the first six months. Integration is a function of the work place and you must give employees the ability to make mistakes and learn from them. Ask your existing employees how long they needed before they felt they were part of the team and use this to measure how long it will take new employees to integrate.