Recruiting, hiring and training new employees can eat up a manager’s time. The last thing a manager wants to do is restart the process all over again because that new hire just stood up and walked out the door after three months.
To avoid repeating that time-consuming process, it’s important to talk with new employees soon after they arrive to uncover potential problems that can cause turnover.
Many managers make the common mistake of waiting until an employee’s performance or behavior shows problems before talking with the employee. By then, however, it can be too late. The employee is halfway out the door.
Make it a point to meet with new hires within the first 60 days. Your goal: Discover their likes/dislikes about the job and environment, see if the job meets their expectations and nip potential problems in the bud.
View these one-on-one chats as a continuation of new-employee orientation and a way to gain fresh insight into your department and the organization. Start the meeting by reminding new employees that you’re glad they’re part of the organization, and that you value their input and observations.
Then, ask some of the following questions, adapting them to your own needs:
1. Why do you think we selected you as an employee?
2. What do you like about the job and the organization?
3. What’s been going well? What are the highlights of your experiences so far? Why?
4. Do you have enough, too much or too little time to do your work?
5. How do you see your job relating to the organization’s mission?
6. What do you need to learn to improve? What can the organization do to help you become more successful in your job? (Don’t ask these two questions unless you are prepared to follow up with action. Otherwise, you can build false expectations, and that can cause disappointment.)
7. Tell me what you don’t understand about your job and about our organization.
8. Compare the organization to what we explained it would be like.
9. Which co-workers have been helpful since you arrived? (Goal: Pinpoint which employees can be influential in retaining the new hire.)
10. Who do you talk to when you have questions about work? Do you feel comfortable asking?
11. Does your supervisor clearly explain what the organization expects of you?
12. How does it go when your supervisor offers constructive criticism or corrects your work?
13. Do you believe your ideas are valued? Give examples.
14. How well do you get along with co-workers?
15. Have you had any uncomfortable situations or conflicts with supervisors, co-workers or customers?
Finish the discussion by asking the employee if he or she has any questions for you or suggestions on how the job can be managed better.