A record number of people have been quitting their jobs in what has been dubbed the “great resignation.” But for employers and companies, the show must go on.
And with more people quitting and finding alternative sources of income, it’s crucial that employers find the best and most productive new employees to fill empty roles. Then, they must offer solid onboarding and create an environment that encourages high-quality work.
If you’re a leader in your company, here are the top strategies that will help your new hires become productive team members.
Choose Strong Candidates When Hiring
While this may seem obvious, it’s still important to mention: to have productive team members, you should focus on only hiring candidates who exemplify productivity.
Ideally, candidates will already have a proven track record of success in another organization. They can easily point to past work experiences where they displayed productivity, commitment, and drive.
It can take time to find the best new hires, but it’s worth the wait. Then, when you’ve found candidates with potential, you can start doing your part to boost their productivity in your team.
Set a Positive Example
After selecting strong candidates to join your company, it’s time to move to new hire onboarding and training.
During this time, it’s imperative to set a positive example and model company culture. If productivity is at the heart of your company’s philosophy, communicate this to new employees and demonstrate it in your own work. This will make expectations clear and encourage new team members to put forth the effort needed to complete tasks.
It’s important to remember that while productivity should be a priority, employees are more than workhorses. They’re people with their own personal lives, problems, and feelings.
In the past, the professional and the private were clearly separated. But that approach is too outdated for today’s world.
A more modern approach is to lead with authenticity, openness, and trust. Trust employees, and in turn they will trust you. Then, if a problem arises that will hinder their productivity, they’ll be more likely to confide in you in order to find a solution.
In short, setting a positive example means exemplifying your own high productivity, while bringing a personal touch to your position as a leader.
Clearly Define Roles
For new hires to be productive, they need to know exactly what they’re working to produce in the first place. That means that roles should be clearly defined even before employment begins.
You can do this by giving them a clear title, providing a list of their core responsibilities, and offering detailed breakdowns of workflows and tasks as much as possible.
In some cases, roles can change and evolve based on personal strengths and interests. But to start, narrow down the exact function of a new employee’s role so they’ll understand what’s expected of them.
That will save a lot of time and confusion, which will help boost confidence and productivity.
Prioritize Efficiency When Onboarding
Onboarding is essential and shouldn’t be skipped. During the onboarding period, necessary paperwork is shared and signed, company policies are discussed, and the employee is formally introduced to their department and team.
But reducing onboarding time can help new employees get straight to more hands-on training and work experience. Then, they can start finding their spot in their new team, building relationships and becoming familiar with their new work environment.
Onboarding software can cut time wasted during the onboarding process so you and your employees can focus on the work that needs to be done. You can find an automated and modernized software solution at https://Workbright.com/employee-onboarding-software/.
Delegate With Seasoned Employees
When hiring new employees, you shouldn’t forget your more experienced employees. In fact, it’s essential to include them in the process of integrating new people into the team.
Meet with current employees to discuss their role in supporting and training new hires. They should be prepared to welcome and work alongside new team members and take over some responsibilities while new employees are still learning.
That way, your team can maintain their high output, and recent hires won’t get overwhelmed from taking on too many new tasks at once.
Balance Autonomy and Assistance
Some employees will thrive in an independent work environment. Others will require some help and collaboration to reach their highest potential.
While learning about new employees’ preferences, it’s best to combine both approaches. Give them freedom to learn at their own pace and work according to their own style, but also be available to answer questions and offer help.
While no one likes feeling micromanaged, new employees won’t already know how to complete every task. Clear some time in your schedule to offer support or troubleshoot issues during the beginning phase of a new hire’s employment.
Set Achievable Goals
Setting SMART goals will keep your new hires on track and motivated. Without these goals, they won’t know what’s expected of them, making it easier to lose focus and slow productivity.
These goals should be set relatively quickly after hiring someone new. But don’t expect them to be able to hit targets immediately.
Communicate exactly what goals they should be working to achieve, and set realistic timelines for them to achieve them. When possible, have new employees work toward their goals in increments.
For example, you can direct them to achieve 25% of the goal within the first month of employment, 50% during the second month, and 75% during the third month. That would put them on track to reach 100% of the goal after four months of employment.
And keep in mind that the goals for new hires will often differ from more experienced employees. If goals aren’t realistic or achievable for fresh hires, they may lose steam early in their job, which can be difficult to repair later.
Recognize Great Work
Rewards and positive feedback should be given no matter how long an employee has been under your leadership. And for new hires especially, recognition can help them feel like a valuable part of their team.
Compliment high-quality work as often as possible, and give specific feedback to encourage further success.
Also consider offering other rewards when possible. This could be a benefit such as flextime or office perks, or a monetary reward such as a gift card or bonus on their next paycheck.
What’s productive today might not cut it tomorrow. So for your new employees to be as productive as possible, they should be given the most up-to-date technology and work solutions.
And that means you, as a leader, must embrace change. How you train new hires should be constantly evolving as your industry changes.
Hire those who demonstrate that they’re able to keep up and learn new skills, and provide them with the new resources and tools they need as they continue working in your company.
Offer Continued Training and Education
You might not be thinking about this right after hiring someone new. But it should be a built-in part of your team’s processes.
In most cases, employees can’t absorb everything they need to know during initial training. And some skills can only be learned after spending some time working in a role.
That’s where continued training and education come in to offer an extra boost. After your new hires have gotten acclimated to their position, continue offering training sessions and educational opportunities.
Create a Productive Work Environment
Employees are responsible for productivity, but you can’t blame them for slacking off if they’re working in an unfavorable environment.
Right now, your team’s environment might be hindering their work. For example, open-plan offices have been shown to kill productivity, with most people working better in private spaces.
Consider offering a variety of desk and seating options. Separate rooms with large tables are great for noisy meetings. Small cubicles can be used for phone calls. And private desks that are spaced out (giving each employee more room for work, not distractions) are ideal for new hires focused on learning new tasks.
Try to keep music and noise to a minimum, and offer sound-canceling headphones if needed.
Also don’t overlook small details like lighting and temperature. Both are constant fixtures in a work environment that can have either a positive or negative impact on productivity.
Check In Regularly
You already know that it’s important to be available to assist new hires. But aside from answering questions or offering training, be sure to check in regularly.
During these check-ins, give feedback, discuss performance, and note if goals and objectives are being met. If there’s room for improvement, offer advice gently yet assertively. Shaming or fear-mongering won’t help new hires, but constructive criticism and a helping hand can.
A crucial and often overlooked part of regular check-ins is allowing the new hires to give their feedback too. Critiques shouldn’t be a one-way street. Communication, ideas, and updates should flow in both directions.
Let new employees know that you welcome their honest thoughts and concerns. And show that you’re truly there to listen and incorporate their feedback in real changes when possible.
Focus on Team Building Exercises
Productivity doesn’t happen in a vacuum for new hires. They’ll typically be more productive when they feel like they belong to their team.
Loyalty, camaraderie, and a sense of personal responsibility help new team members to offer their best work to their organization.
But this feeling of belonging can’t be forced. Instead, it’s cultivated through intentional team building exercises and activities that promote communication and familiarity.
Hold team meetings that include new hires. Some new hires may shy away from sharing their ideas at first, so try to give them a task or a specific point to discuss in the meeting. That way, they’ll play a key role in the discussion.
You can also try using problem-solving exercises, halloween virtual games for work, and collaborative activities (typically in the form of a game) to get team members talking.
Outside of the office, you can also consider initiating group lunches or happy hours. Just make sure that the boundaries and schedules of your new hires are respected.
Empower New Employees
While low productivity is often equated with laziness, it’s more often related to lack of confidence in a work role.
As a leader in your company, you have a responsibility to empower your employees and inspire their best work.
Encourage them to take risks and try new things, even if they initially fail or make mistakes. Remind them that slip-ups are okay and just part of learning.
Sometimes, employees will show hesitancy or even resist trying something they don’t believe they’re capable of. Motivate them to go beyond their typical role or responsibilities at times, especially when it helps them see their true potential.
Productivity isn’t about perfection. It’s about getting work done and making progress, and the only way to do that is to help employees get out of their comfort zones.
Then, new skills can be developed and new solutions can be discovered. And that, above all else, is the true definition of productivity.
From New Employee to Productive Team Member
The strongest, most productive team members must first start as new employees. It’s during the initial stages of employment that new hires learn the most about their role, value, and place in their new company. And it’s also during this time that team leaders and managers offer crucial support and guidance to encourage productivity.
If you’re ready to transform your new employees into productive team members, use these essential strategies during onboarding and beyond.
For more on building a highly productive team and workplace, read our latest business articles!