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  • Writer's pictureSara Broadhurst

5 simple actions to get your new starters up to speed 25% faster*

Woman starting her new job

Having a new starter can be exciting for a People Leader and their team. But it can also feel like a lot of work getting that person to a point where they can work autonomously and successfully.  I’ve observed that organisations tend to vacillate between no onboarding guidance for managers through to wildly complicated processes that seem to assume the new starter has nothing else to do except complete endless online modules.

Let’s keep it simple - research has found that five following simple steps make a significant difference to your new starter's performance and retention (and they’re easy):

1.       Match the new hire with a peer buddy

Why is this important? A buddy helps the new starter to quickly develop organisational context “how we do things here” and increases their speed to productivity (according to research at Microsoft).  

2.       Help the new hire build a social network

Research shows us that people who have emotional and social support at work are more likely to deliver business outcomes and performance, these relationships drive retention and discretionary effort. Are you creating an environment where connection and socialisation are encouraged and enabled?

3.       Schedule a regular check-in

I hope you are doing this consistently with your team anyway, but for new starters you might want to do this more regularly, weekly if you meet with everyone else fortnightly for instance. This is your opportunity to orient your person to this organisation, this team and help them quickly get over any early challenges or hurdles.

4.       Encourage open dialogue

Trust is the core foundation of a high performing team and employees who trust their organisation more also have higher engagement levels. Demonstrate the behaviour you want to see. Proactively and openly sharing information with and amongst your team members, enabling challenge and resolving disagreements deliver psychological safety. This is critical to teams being willing to innovate, try new things and push forward rather than hold back.

5.       Have a role and responsibilities conversation on the first day

Seems obvious huh? (Hopefully it does to you or maybe I’m not your person.) Apparently, some People Leaders are too busy to meet with their new person on their first day. However, it’s the perfect opportunity to ensure that you can describe the roles and responsibilities again (presuming you did that in the selection stage). Also this is an opportunity to discuss WHY the job matters and by extension why that person matters to you. Leaders should always remember that we are all fundamentally social animals and everyone needs to be appreciated. By not meeting with your new starter on their first day, you send a (maybe unintentional) insidious message about how much you value them. First day in a new job is a moment that matters at work and your new team member will never forget if you prioritised them... or not.

So, if you have a new person starting soon, try these five, simple tasks to giving them a great start. High performing leaders coach high performing teams. We love working with teams who are ambitious for their performance - contact us for a chat if that's you.


 *This claim is based on internal research conducted by Google on its workforce.

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