One of the most important duties of a Manager/Leader is to coach their employees to get the desired business results. Like….one management style doesn’t work for everyone, one coaching style doesn’t function for everyone. Depending on your employee’s experience and historical background, you have to customize your coaching style to get the best out of themselves. Right? In this blog post, I will provide you with few pointers through which you can effectively coach your new hire.
Before I provide you with any strategies to coach your new employee, let’s find out few challenges that they would face as a new hire………As a new hire, your employee (Mrs. X) would require clear direction on what she is supposed to do, right? She will also need some clearly defined work assignments, where she can get herself acquainted to your company and its processes, am I not right? Obviously, she is new to the company, so she will also need your help to expand her circle of influence to get the work done.
Since, we are clear on what challenges she would face as a new employee in your team, now we can go ahead and define some coaching strategies. Following are few strategies that I use with my new hire…….
- Frequent feedback: As a new employee, she would not know if she is doing the assigned task appropriately and up to your expectations. And hence, providing frequent reviews and feedback is a must.
- Set clear expectations: In order to make sure that she can be productive quickly, you need to provide clear and detailed instructions for every basic tasks that you assign to her. It would be better for you, if you can provide her with smaller projects with clearly defined start and end times. This will make sure that you educate herself with your team’s processes while meeting your productivity targets at the same time.
- Ask questions: In order to make sure that you are strengthening your relationships with your new employee and she is getting all the information that she needs, you need to regularly ask her questions. Questions like……. “How are you doing?”, “Do you have time for lunch?”, and “How do you like our team?” will help you to strengthen your relationship with her and to build your initial trust. On the other hand, questions like…….”Are you getting the information you need?”, “Are you meeting the right people?”, and “Let me know, if you need anything” will help her to make sure that she gets the work done.
- Assign a coach: Obviously, you would be introducing her to your team and encouraging her to increase her circle of influence within and outside of your team. But sometimes that is not enough. You need to explicitly assign a member of your team, who is willing to coach her. This strategy will not only help her to get herself acquainted with your team’s processes, but it will also give your experienced employee an opportunity to showcase his talents to you. With an explicit coach assigned to her, she can now learn your processes, languages, and acronyms used in your area without your explicit time given to her.
I hope, these tips will help you to better coach your new hire in the team. So, what would you do differently to coach your new employee? Do you have any other ideas to effectively coach your rookie?
Thanks. – Bhavin Gandhi.
February 8, 2013 at 8:01 AM
Besides asking questions about how the new employee is doing, additional questions that are valuable to ask are questions focused on what the employee’s expectations are. Questions like:
“After being assigned a task, how can I, as your boss, best support you?”
“What’s important to you?”
“Mistakes will arise and when they do, how can I, as your boss, best approach you?”
It’s essential to ask questions for the purpose of getting to know the new employee. Just as you, the boss, want the employee to get to know other team members and to become familiar with the various products and services the company offers, it’s important that you, the leader, get to know your employee and what makes him or her “tick”.
This is extremely important when it comes to the topic of giving feedback, which is your number 1 recommendation.
Knowing what makes an employee “tick” and attempting to align the employee’s expectations and goals with that of the organization keeps enthusiasm levels high.
Isn’t it too bad that when an employee first joins an organization, his or her enthusiasm and eagerness are apparent but after several months, that enthusiasm oftentimes wanes?
February 8, 2013 at 10:41 AM
@DrDebBright: You are absolutely right. As a leader, we need to provide some time to familiarize ourselves with the new employee. After all, team’s performance depends on collaboration, communication, and trust.
In order to ensure that my team can trust me, and come to me for any issues, I make a concerted effort to talk to each and every team member of my team at least once in a day. Most of the time, I just stop by their desk for 5 minutes between my meetings, and make sure that they have everything they need to succeed. In this way, I am always informed on issues that they are facing in their day-to-day work.
If as a manager, we are consistent in communicating with our employees, keeping them motivated through recognition, and be involved in their growth through one-on-one; then we might be able to keep their enthusiasm for long time.
Thanks – Bhavin Gandhi