For effective implementation of a program, follow-up is an essential step to be followed. Employee onboarding is no exception to it. Following up with new employees is essential to effective onboarding. Managers need to be involved with their new hires and determine whether or not any changes need to be made in their training process. Consistently meet with new employees and help them solve any problems along the way.
It is not only unprofessional but also rude when you ask your new team member after their first month if ‘everything is getting on well for them’. There is need for constructive follow-up for the new employees.
New staff members are still fairly vulnerable after a month in a new role. In fact, many would describe themselves as feeling “consciously incompetent” in other words they are aware of how much they still don’t know.
This is why the 30-day post-hire check-in is crucial. It’s not only a chance for you to discuss whether your initial expectations are being met. It’s the perfect opportunity for your new team member to share with you whether their expectations are being met too.
Put Time Aside − 30 days in any business can pass by in no time at all. Time goes fast for you as you are busy in carrying out assigned jobs. But for a new employee it can feel like an eternity if they haven’t received regular feedback.
Preparation − If there’s a meeting scheduled, you can be assured that your new team member will be preparing for the conversation. So in order to avoid an “everything cool?” scenario, spend a few minutes preparing your part of the 30-day check-in too.
The Setting − Needless to say a moving elevator isn’t the most appropriate forum for the 30-day check-in. Neither is a cab on the way to or from a meeting. Nor is just sitting down on the corner of your new team member’s desk with a beer for a chat on a Friday afternoon.
The 2-Way Conversation − Remember that the 30-day check-in isn’t just your chance to provide your feedback. Of course you will have your chance to speak, but you should let them kick off the conversation.
Listen Carefully − Just as you did in your initial interview with them, during the 30-day check-in you should listen twice as much as you speak. Of course when you are providing your feedback, whilst you might have a few general observations, where possible try to relate the conversation back to your specific success expectations.
Encourage Them − For the most part, 30 days is too early to make any drastic decisions. Whether it’s a free flowing conversation or there are a few awkward silences or unexpected pieces of difficult feedback, wherever appropriate, let the new employees know that you are on their side and will do all you can to help them meet their objectives.
Follow-up − Follow-up is one the most important steps even though it happens beyond the actual 30-day check-in. If you have agreed to make some changes, investigate something, speak to another team member, or come back to your new team member with a response to a particular question, make sure that you do so. And if possible commit to doing so in a relatively short period of time.
Nobody respects an “all talk and no action” manager. And if that’s the impression you create at the 30-day mark, it will be hard to regain the respect when it comes to any future performance related conversations.
Having effective and consistent follow-up shows that you believe in what was taught during training. By following up, you convey a message of seriousness and importance. This is an essential step in the overall training initiative. If the management isn't following up, employees will wonder why they should bother implementing the new skills or procedures.
Once your employees have gone through training or learned something new, it is important to follow up with them. Not only does follow-up give you a chance to hear what your employees really think about their newly acquired skill or knowledge, but it also demonstrates your interest in your employees' success.
Following are a few tips to assist you with your follow-up −
Ask your employees how they would like to have follow-up conducted.
Allow your employees to be creative with their own ways to reinforce the training and new skills they learned. Be supportive and receptive to their ideas.
Assign periodic assignments on different topics from the training.
Assign a "mentee" to each employee who attended the training. Ask the employee to teach one topic a week to their new "mentee."
Encourage your managers and supervisors to put the skills they learned from training into practice immediately. They can lead by example.
You want the training to be fresh in their minds.
Be attentive. Observe your employees in action as they put their new skills into effect.
If your employees developed action plans as part of their training, meet with them individually to check the progress.
Put together a short questionnaire and e-mail it to your employees to get their feedback.
Like the most worthwhile efforts, effective learning takes time and practice. The more you do something, the easier it becomes. This is why it is so important to ensure that your employees get the appropriate follow-up to their training.
As you are conducting follow-up to your employee training, schedule meetings with your employees individually. Ask them to be honest with you, and share both good and bad experiences they have had while implementing the new skills they have learned from training. This will make your employees feel that they have a say in their development, and that you value their opinion.