How to Set New Hires Up for Success

 -  1/26/12

You’ve just hired promising talent — now what? Stay a step ahead by pairing new hires with more experienced employees as early as during the orientation process.

The typical employee orientation goes something like this: introductions to staff, a tour of the facilities, an overview of policies and procedures, and paperwork to fill out. But there’s another way to assist new employees during the initial months on the job — and some employers are catching on.

They are pairing new hires with appropriate mentors — more experienced employees who act as a newcomer’s guide to the workplace.

Mentoring is hardly a new concept; it’s been around as long as work itself. But in the rush of day-to-day business, managers often forget the advantages of investing a bit of time in assigning mentors whenever they have new employees join their teams.

Mentors can provide assistance in a range of areas, from mastering basic skills to navigating the organization’s corporate culture. This allows new hires to make a more immediate impact on the job. And it’s a win-win move. Mentees are offered valuable, real-world experience while mentors expand their leadership capabilities and gain satisfaction from serving in a meaningful role.

Here are some basic steps in the mentoring life cycle that employers need to consider.

Launching a program. Mentoring programs have many potential benefits, but it’s critical to have a plan in place before beginning them. For starters, goals must be established. Managers should determine exactly what they hope to achieve from mentoring, whether it’s just getting a new hire up to speed on practices at the company or more in-depth training.

Effective matches are essential to the success of these programs. Those chosen to be mentors should not only have excellent interpersonal and professional skills, but also the time and interest necessary to make a difference in the role. A potential mentor may be an impressive employee, but if he or she is never available to meet with mentees, the relationship has little chance of success.

Managers should never serve as mentors to employees who report directly to them. New hires may have a lot of questions and concerns as they begin their jobs and need mentors they can talk to candidly without worrying about career consequences.

Article Keywords:   mentoring   on-boarding   development   new hire   orientation  

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