Who causes a new employee to quit prematurely and move on to another organization? Is it the Human Resources representative who inadequately explains what forms to fill out to get the right benefits? Is it the new colleague who talks too fast when explaining the computer system the new employee needs to learn? Or, is it the manager, who fails to provide the training and coaching support the employee needs during the initial months on the job?
Employees, whether new or longer term, typically quit because of poor management. Think of a time when you joined a new organization and had the best manager. What was that manager doing that made you feel they were so great? Maybe it was clearing his or her calendar to make you a priority. Maybe it was checking in with you to see if you needed any additional tools and resources. Maybe it was giving you feedback about the work you completed, both positive feedback and suggestions for improvement. You were made to feel important and needed.
What do new employees need and want from their managers?
New employees want to feel like they are a priority. Managers who book their holidays or a week-long conference at the same time as when a new employee starts is giving out a very negative message. The best managers arrange their schedule to be more available to their new employees at the beginning and end of the new employees’ first day, first week, first two weeks, first three weeks and first month. They build time into their schedule to ensure their new employees feel welcomed and appreciated for joining the organization.
New employees want their managers to give them their full attention during check-ins. They want managers who don’t glance at their incoming email messages, take calls/accept in-person interruptions, and shuffle through papers while talking to them about their new job. They want and deserve their manager’s undivided attention at strategic times during their orientation and onboarding process. Non-verbal messages speak louder than words. For sure managers are super busy and multi-tasking each minute. However, they will end up adding ‘recruit replacement for the new employee who just quit’ to their to-do list if they don’t focus on their new employees’ needs.
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- Answers / Answer Sources
The job of all new employees is to ask questions. The job of a manager of new employees is to provide answers to their new employees’ questions and/or direct them to where they can find the answers. Great managers encourage their new employee to ask questions and to explore curated content to find the answers. They know where to send their new employees to look for the answers and who to ask when they personally don’t know the answers.
Once the new employee stops asking so many questions and performing the job to the required proficiency standard, then the manager knows their orientation and onboarding job has been completed, and done well.
- Tools, Resources and Support
Great managers provide their new employees with additional tools and resources, beyond what’s included in the typical orientation and onboarding process, based on their new employees’ unique learning needs. They also provide additional support like an assigned Orientation Buddy who liaises with the new employee to help them along their learning path.
Managers are the key to new employee orientation and onboarding success. They can’t delegate the task of making their new employees feel valued and contributing members of the organization. Only they have that honour.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Valerie Dixon, President of Learnware Design Inc., is a leading expert in the field of Training and Development. Valerie has over 40 years of in all aspects of performance needs analysis, learning strategy development and learning design for all types of media, in both the private and public sectors.
Learnware Design Inc. offers a wide variety of training programs, tools and resources needed to achieve Accelerated Competence™ – helping corporations, employees, training professionals and individuals learn faster, better and smarter. Her newest product, Orientationware™, is an online orientation and onboarding technology platform designed in collaboration with Sprigg, a leading talent management software company.