By Owen Phelps, Ph.D.

Director, Yeshua Institute

Maybe you recently hired a new person to fill either a new slot or an old one. But now that they’re on the job they don’t seem to be performing up to the expectations you set for them when you decided they were right for the job.

What’s wrong?

Maybe you just got it wrong – thought you saw something when it really wasn’t there. That’s possible.

But more likely the Best Christian Workplaces Institute provides a better explanation – and a way to get much better performance going forward.

In a story called “7 Reasons Your New Hires Aren’t Thriving,” Best Christian Workplaces Institute offers seven other possibilities besides your own poor perception to explain performance difficulties with new hires – and what you can do to improve performance.

Here are a couple of reasons from the list:

  • Every new hire wants to feel welcomed and valued from day one.
  • New hires need time to settle in, especially with the people around them.
  • What new hires want most is one-on-one time with their direct manager.

How we nurture and integrate new hires is absolutely critical to how well they perform both immediately and over the long term – and this is true about every new hire, whether they’re the only person on a small parish’s staff or one of thousands in a big multi-national company.

A focus on details

Wherever I have had responsibility for staff performance, I made sure to develop an hour-by-hour schedule for the first two weeks a new hire was on the job.

But first I had to plan. I had to outline all the persons I wanted the new hire to meet, how I wanted them to interact, and what I needed them to learn in that critical two-week period. Just getting to know the people and our procedures was the biggest part of the agenda.

To the extent that others would be serving as short-term or long-term mentors, I took the time to sit down with them to go over what I needed them to cover with the new person – and to listen carefully what they felt the new person should learn.

At the end of the two-week period, I scheduled some sort of review either with or without mentors, depending on the specific circumstances. And at the end of that review meeting, we left the room with a plan for the next three months.

Details. Details. Details. I hate details! But my own personal preferences aside, I saw how critical it was to put the new hire’s needs first – and to meet those needs with critical attention to detail. There’s just no other way to get the job done.