1) They take time to groove into the group, unknowingly causing confusion and added work for those who train them.
2) Without enough proper training and apprenticeship they either won’t last or become an under-productive employee.
This happens in most all companies, and though the new hire may have the technical skills or specialized training required for the job, they will still need to learn how to operate within your group, what company rules they must abide by, etc.
There is a specific piece of administrative technology L. Ron Hubbard developed and codified to deal with this problem.
…I discovered a new basic, simple fact:
HATTING1 = CONTROL.
A person who is hatted can control his post.
If he can control his post he can hold his position in space—in short, his location. And this is power.
When a person is uncertain, he cannot control his post, he cannot control his position. He feels weak. He goes slow.
If he can control his post and its actions he feels confident. He can work effectively and rapidly.
Here is a useful list to follow when taking on new employees, which incorporates the principle given by Mr. Hubbard above:
- First of all, ensure all required legal paperwork is complete.
- Establish the pay plan in a written document giving them one copy; Send copies to both the Payroll Department and Personnel Dept. for their respective files. (Review your legal responsibilities on keeping locked and proper personnel files.)
- Inform them of the company’s payday(s), as well as how, when and where to submit a payroll request.
- Announce, introduce and welcome them to the whole team.
- Orient them with a tour of the business premises and its amenities.
- Instruct them on the purpose of their position and its relationship with the company’s overall objectives. Explain to them what the product of their position is. They should also know daily or weekly production expectations such as set production quotas.
- Inform them of their “probationary period” to monitor how well they operate within the group and set a production review to be given at their 30-day point.
- Introduce them to those they will work closely with, going over co-operative / coordination points and where to go should they have questions or need help.
- Assign another employee to be their buddy and show them “the ropes”. Make sure the buddy is fully knowledgeable about their position to properly apprentice them.
- Establish a space for personal belongings and instructions on how they should be kept. (Orderly, cleanliness, what types of items are not allowed on the desk, etc.)
- Supply a copy of the internal company policy and rules; i.e. personal calls during work hours, internet and cell phone use, manners, customer service, staff meetings, lunchtime, etc. Have them study and initial every policy as an attestation of their understanding of each.
- Proper computer training should be given on the specific programs being used by the company paying close attention to those they are not yet familiar with. The buddy would assist on this until they become fairly comfortable using them.
- Get them a write-up of the day-to-day activities they’ll be performing with detailed instructions. Get them to read this and have someone knowledgeable with the job check their understanding so that they really get it. NOTE: At this initial stage of training, try to keep this somewhat short and easily understood, enough to get them going as you don’t want to overload them all at once, just get them going. Further instructions would be added once earlier ones are mastered.
- OK, they’ve started! The buddy checks in with them often to answer questions, ensuring the new employee takes notes as they go to avoid unnecessary reviews on what one has already been taught.
- Establish specific ways of measuring their production and implement this. If you don’t do this you will not have sufficient data to review with them in 30 days.
- Just prior to the production review ask the buddy to write a brief report on how the new employee has done thus far. This needs to remain purely objective and factual – no I think…, maybe, etc. Were they easily trained? Did they pick things up on the first run-through? Were you able to correct their mistakes easily? Do they seem to get along with other staff? How well do they interact with your customers? (A standard questionnaire could be typed and used for all such employee reviews.)
- The production review is also purely objective and factual. Use a private office as it is best done without distraction. You should cover both the good and the not-so-good aspects – validate all positive comments on their production, then list what areas need improvement or didn’t go so well.
- If at this point you feel they’re a good fit for the position and the company, type up a program on the specific actions needing improvement to correct their low points of the review; Add another paragraph to document their plus points. All deserve proper documentation. Inform them of their next production review date, (2 weeks / 30 days), whatever proves workable for your company.
- If they should not continue, you will do one of two things; You can either find another position within the company where they’d be more apt to succeed, or you may need to start the termination process. (NOTE: Each state has specific laws on this – consult your lawyer first to make sure you handle this process properly.)
- CONTINUE TO TRAIN THEM! Training should not end once they are working. Continue to enhance your staff through advanced training or drilling on their functions, perfecting their activities, improving customer service, and encourage online courses, or consulting help to improve communication, efficiency, production, etc.
This is a very workable general outline of steps to use with employees to improve the odds that they factually make it on a new position. I suggest writing this as a checklist, adding any additional steps you may need, and stapling a copy to the front inside of each Personnel File and tracking the progress of each.
This has proven time and again to keep confusion and interruptions to a minimum when hiring new employees while also assisting business owners and Human Resource Departments in creating a highly productive and efficient group.
Something to benefit the whole group and make one’s place of business pleasurable to work in!
1 Hatting means training someone to perform all of the duties of their post or position. The term and idea of a hat come from conductors or locomotive engineers, etc., each of whom wears a distinctive and different type of headgear.
2 From an article of 23 July 1972, The Vital Necessity of Hatting.