6/29/12

Best Practices - New Hires

Best Practices (Part 12)

A lot of companies do a great job selling a person on why they should work for their company. Then, welcome them like they would a celebrity visitor but drop the ball on putting a path for success and accountability in place. 

I spoke with several companies recently who are experiencing challenges in terms of accountability and fulfillment of the job.  The challenges were similar whether or not they were employees or 1099’s and whether they were in a leadership or a production role.

Several best practices had not been implemented that could have made a lot of difference.

1.  The On-Boarding Process
The on-boarding process with the exception of mandatory paperwork was left largely to the discretion of the manager in each case.  That included timing, meetings, introductions, orientation and walking through critical tasks.  If a manager happened to be out when a new person came on board, they might have made arrangements for someone else to get the new person started or might simply have left the new person to fend for themselves until they had the chance to catch up again or until a problem arose.

There were a couple of companies who thought they had an onboarding process in place but in most cases three quarters or more of the process was related to mandatory documents.

A best practice implemented by one company basically mimicked the AAA Trip Tiks in which the new hire was presented with a document constructed for them that would guide them through their first few days and become a resource afterward.  It included a little info about people they would meet, with pictures, and how they would interact with that person in their job.  It included maps that would be necessary to navigate the company including processes they needed to understand.  It also included features and attractions as what to do if they needed help.  Today, this could be done online and delivered in a mobile or online format.

2.  Alignment of job description to tasks, responsibilities, accountability measurements and compensation.

The job description to which they were hired was often an orphan once the person came on board, sometimes dusted off for periodic reviews.  The job description in many cases had been written by an HR professional or from a template and represented a wish list for the job with an umbrella type scope.  Compensation was another orphan except where it was tied specifically to production.  Accountability was a calendar appointment and responsibilities did not have measurements.

A best practice we use is a simple spreadsheet tool that breaks down the job description and actual job expectations into components.  Each has the expected tasks defined, results anticipated, measurement points of accountability and compensation that are tied to execution.  There are many areas where the compensation for the component is included in the base compensation as we do not want mis-interpretation.  We usually then review our job descriptions to make sure that they are aligned with the job as it is broken down.  All of this becomes a communication and management tool that does not have the challenges of verbal communications that are often social or selling during the hiring and first days on the job.

There are a lot of other best practices related to hiring and managing people but these two alone can make a significant difference in results and long term relationships.


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