We’ve heard how important it is to get off to a good start.
Let’s take a look at what it can mean to have a “good start” in the workplace.
I think that a “good start” begins during the interview process. Many manager rely on their “gut feel” or intuition when hiring people. I’m all for following your intuition – but sometimes that can be a cop out… and an easy excuse for not doing your homework.
Making a wrong hiring decision is very costly – and often times, people forget the hidden costs of a poor hiring decision. For example, we all know that “time is money.” But we forget to count the time spent in reviewing resumes, interviewing and temporary fees or search firm placement fees – those are all real dollars.
Dollars and Sense
One also must include the training time needed to get the person on board and functioning somewhat competently. From my experience, people in most non-exempt positions will take about 6 months before they are relatively skilled in job duties but it can take a year before they are competent to perform all job duties. For an exempt position, it can take a year to two years to be fully functioning. Calculate the salary and benefits and we’re talking significant dollars. If benefits and employer contributions are about 35% of base wages, a $30,000 position becomes $47,200 and a $75,000 position becomes $101,200.
If you have a revolving door in these positions you’re wasting a lot of money without much return on your investment. In this case of the $35,000 wage earner who leaves in six months, you’ve wasted almost $24,000 and will start the process over again. You do the math…
Take a look at your hiring practices and turnover. Are there positions that have a higher turnover than others? Or are there people in positions who are not suited to the job duties or are marginal performers? Don’t be too quick to blame them.
??? Ask Good Questions ???
So, like I said, it starts in the interview. Smart managers make sure that their interview questions have a direct correlation to the duties and skills needed on the job. For example, one of my clients has had difficulties finding successful phone sales people. We revamped the interview process to reflect the working environment as closely as possible, including behavioral based interview questions and then a “practice” phone interview so the she could hear how the person would actually sound and respond on the phone.
To probe for attitudes, ask for examples of disappointments and how they handled them or find out what frustrates them and how they deal with it. Listen for red flags.
Once the person is hired, then what?
The next most important thing you can do is make sure there’s a plan when the person starts. Some of these things may sound elementary – but many times the basics are overlooked. And that can create a very bad start.
Is their work station ready? Do they have the equipment they need to do the job? Phones, computers, pass codes, keys? Desks? Teach them how to use the phones and systems that are unique to your business. Sound silly? Maybe – but when a person starts a new job, they’re anxious to do well and the simplest things, like not being able to make a call or use the computer can be irritating and leave a bad impression.
Are other employees ready for this new person to start? Do they know how the new person’s job fits or is different from theirs or contributes to the overall goals?
Create a welcoming and supportive environment – not just for the first week or month. Studies show that employees often are disengaged after 6 months on the job. What are you doing to retain people and keep them engaged?
Smart managers understand the value of investing in their employees by carefully screening people, having effective interview questions and a thoughtful on-boarding process. These steps will save you thousands of dollars.
Marty Stanley, Certified Speaking Professional, is a national speaker, consultant and executive coach on organizational change. If you want to get a better return on your investment in people, call Marty today for a complimentary consultation. 816-695-5453 firstname.lastname@example.org
If you want to be a Type T leader and are willing to look within to be a Transformational Leader, call Marty today: 816-695-5453 email@example.com
For more information on being a Type T leader, watch this 1 minute video.
Or order the book on How to Be a Transformational Leader in a Bottom-Line World.