By Rieva Lesonsky
Now that you’ve secured either your seed funding or the business capital you need to finally hire new employees, what’s your plan to get your new hires up to speed with your business? After all, you don’t want your company to suffer during the downtime it takes to train a new employee, do you? How you initiate a new hires into your company can make all the difference in what the future employer/employee relationship will be, including their job satisfaction, job knowledge and productivity levels. Here’s how to start off on the right foot:
Put it in writing: Create an employee handbook that clearly details your company’s rules, expectations and requirements for employee duties and behavior. You can find sample handbooks online, but employment law varies from state to state, so you’ll need to hire a lawyer to look for correct word usage and clear up any vague or ambiguous language. Make sure anyone reading the handbook can understand your expectations for performance.
Set up a trial period: Make sure the new employee knows you’ll be closely monitoring him or her for the first two to four weeks. During this time, you should spend a few minutes with the new hire regularly to go over performance, determine whether he or she is following correct procedures, and answer any questions. You might listen in while your new salesperson makes cold calls or have an experienced server shadow a new waitress at your restaurant. If you have seasoned employees with a mentoring personality, you may want to delegate most of this job to them. The buddy system works well in most situations where the veteran employee is not only responsible for training the newbie, but also cuing them in to the ins and outs of your corporate culture, giving them feedback as to how well they’re fitting in, and making sure they feel welcome. Even if you delegate this part, you yourself should monitor the person at least once a week, so the person knows you are a hands-on small business owner.
Any issues? If, by four weeks in, the new employee is still having difficulty with the job or not performing up to par, you need to immediately assess what the issue/s could be. This could mean following the person more closely and more often, asking questions about procedures they’re following or getting feedback from other staffers who work with the new hire.
Get results: If there are no issues, stop monitoring performance and start monitoring results. Depending on the size of your business, you may need to delegate this part of the job to the manager who directly supervises the new employee.
With so many Americans still looking for work, it’s an employer’s job market and every employee should be working at peak performance. Start your employees out right from the beginning and you can nip any problems in the bud.
Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports