Benchmark Business Group

Setting the Tone for New Employees

June 25, 2019

It’s often said that employees are your biggest asset. And it’s true. The power of having an engaged and driven team is well known. As is the cost of a team that isn’t engaged, which can lead to expensive mistakes and high turnover. Yet, many small businesses don’t have an onboarding process to set new employees up for success.

When a new employee joins your business, you have ONE chance for a great first impression. You have to make it count. What your new employee sees and hears on the first day, within the first week, will shape how they view the culture and their way of working.

We understand time and resources are often limited in small businesses. New employee training can be shuffled around and sometimes handed off to whoever is available. It can be chaotic and unorganized. This makes it hard for a new employee to connect to the big picture of what your business does, the importance of their position, and to understand the culture. And often times, there are gaping holes in what should be taught and what was taught.

Investing your time and energy into creating a successful onboarding process is a smart business move. Yes, it takes time. As a small business, you may not hire every day or even every year, which makes this process even more important. It can be outside of your routine, making it easy to forget all the steps. Also, as a small business when someone leaves unexpectedly your business probably feels it more than a large corporation. It’s important to get someone hired fast and trained even faster.

Our Inspired Action Series, Turn-Key Training, is a step-by-step program on how to implement a successful onboarding process for new employees. If you don’t have a turn-key training process in place, we encourage you to find out more about this program. In the meantime, here are two common mistakes to avoid when it comes to onboarding processes.

  • Not Having a Roadmap – Training a new employee is a lot of work that takes time and may involve multiple people. The only way to make sure each new employee is fully trained is to have a way of tracking what they need to know and who/when the training was completed.

A good roadmap will lay out a path for the new employee, set expectations, and clearly outline where they need to be at the end of the training. It makes sure that nothing is forgotten or skipped. And most importantly, it gives the new employee ownership in their position. You can set the expectation that they need to ask for help or additional training in any areas they are struggling with or that may have been skimmed over.

  • Not Connecting Employees to the Heart and Logic of Your Business – Whether documented or implied, your business has a certain standard for the work that is being done. An expectation for what quality means. A rule of thumb of what customer service means.

If your training only focuses on going through the motions or how to do a task, the heart and logic of why the task is important can get lost. This can drastically change the level of service and quality that your business delivers. It’s worth the time to connect all employees to the big picture of why the tasks they do are important.

Setting your employees up for success takes an investment of time now, but the return on your investment is worth it.

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