It’s pretty easy to blame human resources. Maybe you work for a company where the new employee program is boring, confusing, detached or (worse) absent. This will not be a good start for the enthusiastic new employee. However, because, as the supervisor, you will be the most important person to the new employee,
how you welcome her into the company will have the biggest impact.
One of my clients, Sam, supervised about fifteen help desk technicians. Sam’s day was filled with putting out fires – like customer computer issues, or fielding complaints about the help desk technicians who couldn’t solve those problems. When I met Sam, he was overwhelmed with repair work and people problems.
Most of the time, he was angry that his techs weren’t performing despite the fact they were all well-credentialed. Sam had no prior experience supervising employees, and was promoted because he was an excellent technician. Sound familiar? Sam hadn’t been trained as a new supervisor so he spent his days winging it. It was not a pretty picture – his employees received inconsistent interaction and Sam felt that he was in constant crisis mode.
Sam was discouraged. His staff did not seem cohesive, there was high absenteeism and work was not completed in a timely fashion. Overall, he was unhappy with his employees and their performance. He was at a loss.
“By human resources,” he said. Once a new employee came to his unit, he figured they were ready to learn the IT systems at the company. Each new employee was given a week to train on the system and were then told to, “Feel free to ask questions whenever they wanted.” End of training.
We began the new program by reviewing how each employee had joined the company, how much time Sam had spent with them, what he knew about them, how each one fit into the group and what their career goals were. He was astonished to find how little information he had about his employees. He didn’t know much besides their names and assignments. Both of us agreed that some changes needed to be made. Sam was an active participant as we developed the New Employee Plan for his unit. This may be helpful to you, as well.
Finally, Sam will follow-up with the new employee at the end of the three-month probationary period. If the employee has successfully completed the probationary period, together they will review the new employee’s progress and identify any concerns or outstanding issues. If there are any outstanding issues, Sam and the new employee commit to working these out.