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Clearview® Performance Systems brings you ... ® ... a Culture of Results & Engagement®

Here's the next in our series of weekly managerial TIPS (Techniques, Insights, and Practical Solutions)
to help you better engage your team in the activities that lead to higher performance.

CORE Bites Issue #23
(May 7, 2019)

Here's the #1 best way to 'Expectation-alize' a new Team Member

You've heard me say (more than once!) that people don't join organizations; instead, they join cultures. And, if you've done a good job as a supervisor/manager/leader, that culture will be very obvious to someone new joining your team. But the very best leaders know—regardless of their organization's typical approach to onboarding new employees—that it's really the first few hours and days working directly with this new person that will set the tone for their ongoing working relationship.

I call this process "Expectation-alizing" because you are—quite literally—letting new employees know what they can expect from you and what you expect from them. There's no better time to clearly establish the cultural, behavioral, and attitudinal expectations than during the first few days while you welcome them aboard and provide the initial introduction and orientation to your team. When done well, you save yourself a tremendous amount of time and effort in the future (and you get better engagement/results). When done poorly ... well, let's not go there.

High Value Activity (HVA) Action Steps

The HVA steps necessary to fully Expectation-alize a new team member are not complicated—but they are all critical:

  • Do not delegate this responsibility! The onboarding of any new employee who'll report directly to you should be accomplished by you. You need to take 100% responsibility for making sure new employees are welcomed properly and given the (very visible and tangible) onboarding support they'll need to become fully functional.
  • [Note: This next point might seem excessive, but it's really not when you weigh the benefits gained.] Start by scheduling two quick-start one-on-ones with your new employee every day, one at the start of the workday and a second at the end of the day. During your Start-of-Day one-on-ones, discuss current tasks and responsibilities using examples of superior work product; set appropriate goals, timelines and quality expectations; explain any SOPs that will impact the work; provide information on background/support materials as well as access to any key individuals who may be of help. During the End-of-Day one-on-ones, determine what has gone well (and REINFORCE those items!) and address any questions, concerns, or roadblocks the new employee experienced during the day. Continue these one-on-ones until the new employee demonstrates a reasonable level of self-sufficiency.
  • Illustrate the power of Incremental Learning/Incremental Improvement in your work environment by using success stories. Communicate your expectation that continuous learning means being “Incrementally better tomorrow than you are today!”
  • Introduce your new employee to the Results Formula™ (Ability x Effort x Systems) and let him/her know how you use the three components to determine goals, analyze success strategies, and identify efficiencies. Review how this formula will serve as the structure for your coaching sessions going forward.
  • Don't wait for the new employee to ask! New employees often don't realize how much onboarding support and coaching they need. Paradoxically, even when they do realize it, they may not ask for help because they don't want you to question their capability. Be proactive and use open-ended questions to draw them into the conversation.
  • [If the person you're onboarding will be managing others, here is something to think about ...] When your new employee is going to be responsible for managing others, then your one-on-ones need to convey your expectations about how quickly this person needs to connect with his/her team. The two main focus areas should be 1) expecting this new manager to set up and follow the same structured one-on-one meetings with his/her team that were described above (2nd bullet) and 2) working with this new manager to help clearly convey expectations to his/her team in a similar way to the recommendations above.

With a solid onboarding plan, clear learning objectives, precise expectations, and your daily one-on-ones with new employees, I'm certain you'll be delighted with how quickly you can get them up and running and operating at full capacity.

I'd love to hear how these HVAs work for you!

Neil Dempster, PhD, MBA
RESULTant™ and Behavioral Engineer

Quote of the Week

"If you are lucky enough to be someone’s employer, then you have a moral obligation to make sure people do look forward to coming to work in the morning."

— John Mackey (Whole Foods) —