When a new employee joins your team, it can be tempting to do the project dump. You know what I mean. The moment where you take all the projects that have been piling up and dump them on the poor sap.
If you’re a schmuck, go ahead, take this approach. But if you’re a manager that cares about your employee’s success, a more tailored, deliberate process is far better. You’ll take what could be a miserable employee onboarding process and turn it into a foundation-setting period.
Will they be doing a lot of writing on your company’s behalf? Then understanding tone and style will be crucial. Will they be interacting with customers on a regular basis? Then role-playing to learn how to troubleshoot customer concerns is critical.
When to Start During the Onboarding Process: Entire 90 days. If soft skills are critical to your employees’ success, start them on day 1, and continue honing these skills through the 90-day period. Soft skills are sometimes the hardest to acquire, and therefore should be allocated the longest amount of time.
Take a moment and think about the software and hardware tools your new employee must be comfortable with. Is it a CRM platform, a marketing automation tool, an accounting system, a data analytics program, or something else entirely?
When to Start During the Onboarding Process: First 30 days. Don’t wait to get them up to speed. If these tools are key to their job function, start them early. Get those training sessions going immediately so that by week four they feel comfortable with all the in’s and out’s of the tools.
Think about relatively simple projects you’ve been putting off. Maybe it’s setting up a small event, or perhaps getting marketing materials printed. Anything that requires little training falls under this category.
When to Start During the Onboarding Process: First 30-60 days. Being able to cross off projects on a to-do list, even little ones, creates a feeling of accomplishment. It’s a benefit to the company that these things are getting tackled, and it’s a benefit to the employee to start seeing his or her usefulness early on.
LARGE, COMPLEX PROJECTS
Think about the big projects you’ve been putting off. These would be projects that require collecting a lot of information and materials, and probably gathering the approval of several internal parties. You brought in your new recruit to tackle these projects. But you don’t want to overwhelm them on day one.
When to Start During the Onboarding Process: First 60-90 days. These are the big responsibility tasks. The projects that help an employee really stand out. Once they have their feet wet get them started on tackling projects that have real business implications.
When you approach employee onboarding with this process, you get two things in return:
- New hires that are fully trained within 90 days.
- New hires with the confidence to tackle anything that comes their way.
Isn’t this what you really want? Follow this approach and you’ll enjoy the piece of mind that comes with having confident, well-trained employees helping to build your business.