How to Hire – First Step for Increasing New Hire Productivity
Before talking about increasing new hire productivity, let us take a quick look at what all to consider when hiring employees. Hiring the right employees can serve as a guide to increasing new hire productivity. You should never hire anyone just because you think you need to increase the staff strength. That would be foolish and often wasteful expense.
Though the strength of a firm is often evaluated in terms of the number of employees, it is more important that each employee is a necessity and is performing his/her duties to meet maximum potentials. You can increase your company's real potential by constantly coaching employees to increase production. That said, let's look at some factors you should consider when planning to hire new employees. Compiling these factors into a "base-document" and an employee handbook will make it easier for you to increase new hire productivity. You can refer back to your base document and handbook to check and see if your new hire is working in the proper direction. Your base guide to hiring an employee should contain the following factors, especially from my experience:
- Reason for hiring the employee – simply speaking, why do you need the employee?
- First, note down a broad description of the new hires tasks.
- Break the above task into smaller components: tasks that contribute to complete the task effectively.
- What standards of performance do you expect from the employee?
- Explain the employee hierarchy so that both you and the new hire can understand how reporting functions in your organization. This will help the new hire understand how all departments coordinate to complete tasks. It also helps the employee understand who will suffer if the work is not done in time.
- Freedom for the employee – other than breaks and time off, how much time will you allot the employee for personal work? Assuming or placing a strict ban on personal work during office hours could be detrimental. Most people spend some time checking their own emails before starting their work. It is better to have an understanding between you, as a manager and the new hire, on the time that the latter can spend on his personal work including emails and phone calls.
Each of the above factors is crucial. The new employee should understand them clearly, before you offer employment. This, in my opinion, is the first step toward increasing new hire productivity, as it is the first instance where you boost the employee's morale by placing your trust in the new hire. Of course, you need to keep an eye on the employee to check if s/he is misusing your trust while also checking if the employee is able to meet the standards specified in the "base guide" and employee handbook.
Personal Interest Helps in Increasing New Hire Productivity
Often, taking a personal interest helps in increasing new hire productivity. Instead of throwing the new employee into a team of many fresh employees, I suggest creating smaller groups of two to three persons and assign a mentor for each group.
- If your organization needs to train the new hire from scratch on how your organization functions, you can have theory sessions where you can incorporate ten to fifteen people at a time. This helps in increasing new hire productivity as the model offers a chance for every new hire to interact with his/her trainer. For example, if you hired 50 new employees, divide them into teams of 10 each. This helps both the new hires as well as the trainer when it comes to dealing with the theoretical part of the training.
- Some organizations also stress completing the theoretical part of training first and later giving them hands on experience. Contrary to this, you can increase new hire productivity if your new employee can see how others are working while they are dealing with the theory. In other words, it is better if you divide the training time in a way that there are ample breaks between different sessions of the theory. While some short breaks can be used for relaxation, longer breaks should allow for fresh employees on the production floor where they can interact with existing employees to see how they are working and performing tasks.
- Break each team of ten into further small parts of two and assign a mentor (a senior employee) to each in order to increase new hire productivity. As your trainer is teaching theory to one team, the team on break gets practical experience on how the organization/department works.
- After training, when the new employees are on the production floor, you need to remind them about the factors you discussed prior to hiring them. Assure them that their mentors are there to help. Unlike companies that review the performance every month, I would suggest daily reviews and inputs by mentors and by the Quality Assurance personnel. This will help the new hires to avoid similar mistakes for full one month.
- Finally, talk to the new employees time and again, so that they can relate to the office atmosphere. Though there should be a gap between a manager and his team, however, it should not be so wide that the employee cannot express his/her views. These friendly discussions help instill confidence in the employees, thereby further increasing new hire productivity.