Just as an employee’s interview isn’t over when they get the job, your work isn’t over, either. Now that you’ve selected an employee to fill that empty position, it’s your responsibility to make sure he or she gets the training and ongoing opportunities they need to be successful.
This process is twofold: you must have a training protocol in place, and you must be flexible to your new employee’s strengths and weaknesses. Let’s delve into each.
Have a training protocol
There are fewer things more frustrating for a new employee than starting a new job with no guidance, especially for entry-level hourly workers. Make sure your new employee has a dedicated trainer during each shift for their introductory work period, and make sure your trainers are well trained.
Simply bestowing the responsibility of training on whoever is standing nearest to your new employee “is a disaster, for a number of reasons,” says McLeod.
1. [the trainer] may not be getting paid extra to train, and she may resent that. You’re taking time away from her job.
2. Just because someone is a good employee doesn’t meant they’re a good trainer. With hourly employees, it isn’t uncommon for “trainers” to forget to share crucial information –– or, worse, to spend the time gossipping about who to avoid, or where to get a free lunch
3. Check in with your new employee regularly. “Discuss expectations, goals for the first week,” says deFreitas, “and make sure they have what they need.” He emphasizes the importance of obtaining feedback from your new hire on the training process. “Have your employee complete a quick survey with basic questions about onboarding, so it becomes a quality check for the hiring manager so they can continue to fine-tune their process.”
As your employee grows with your company, you can safeguard against turnover by letting them excel at what they’re interested in –– and what they’re already good at. Be flexible. “It’s not a matter of looking at someone and saying, ‘you don’t do that well.’” Instead, say “‘let’s figure out how to train you to do it better,’” says Hodge.
If someone is a bad server because they can’t take an order correctly, offer them a position in the kitchen. If someone has poor people skills but great computer skills, move them out of customer service and into a back-office job. Hodge asserts that one tiny shift in this regard can work wonders for employee retention and morale: “if you’re in a position where you can maximize the things you enjoy doing, you’re much happier at work, more productive, and it carries over into all aspects of your life.”