New Year, new recruits? Help them meet the biggest challenges

by HRM07 Jan 2013

There are always challenges to getting a new worker settled and productive, but what are the biggest challenges and how can you work around them?

A new survey from Accountemps has identified the top three challenges for new workers, and HRM has gone to the experts about how to address each one. The survey asked workers and managers to each identify which were the biggest hurdles. Learning processes and procedures, getting to know the team, and fitting into the culture topped the list.

“Many organisations offer training and orientation programs for employees to get up to speed on formal procedures,” Kathryn Bolt from Accountemps said. “However, some cultural norms within a company aren’t as easily apparent.”

  1. Learning new processes and procedures (Workers: 49%; Managers: 39%)
    Know your expectations and timeframe before the new employee starts so it’s clear to them and their direct supervisor what the priorities are. Give frequent and consistent feedback, and encourage them to ask questions. Make sure the key processes are included in training time and consider buddying them up with a colleague that they can approach for help and support.
  2. Getting to know a new boss and coworkers (Workers: 23%; Managers 23%)
    Twitter new recruits go for lunch with the company head on their first day – an important part of their onboarding process because it shows the new worker their value to the company. Consider also holding a morning tea or lunch for the worker to get to know colleagues in a less formal setting. 
  3. Fitting into the corporate culture (Workers: 15%; Managers: 21%)
    Culture can be hard to communicate. First, make sure the employee knows the company values and how they apply to their  role. It can be worthwhile to give them time in other departments to show how people work and interact throughout the company, and to expose them to company jargon, operational practices and values.

The key to success is consistency. Have specific processes in place to ensure every employee knows the basics and understands what’s expected in their first week, month and three months. Include informal socialising opportunities to help them settle into the team, not just the role.


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