When onboarding new hires, managers have a lot of things to think about. What is the onboarding plan? Will there be pre-boarding? Who will train them? Who do they need to meet and who will show them around and introduce them to the office, co-workers, etc.?
But just as important, what is your new hire’s onboarding plan? If they walk in and have no plan and no goals, chances are they will struggle to find success in their new role. Some new hires will start day one with a clear plan or will have a plan and goals set within a few weeks, but some will need help and guidance in this area.
The Best New Hire Gift: Clear Expectations + Realistic Goals
Defining Clear Expectations
Setting clear expectations is one of the best gifts you can give your new hire. By establishing expectations early on, you set them up to stay on track with their training, which makes the path to success clear. Expectations give new hires a strong foundation to work from and base decisions off of as they move into their new roles.
In order to set the right expectations, you need to first have a clear understanding of their innate talents. You can set higher expectations based on their greatest areas of strength. This will lead to increased levels of growth and success.
Some expectations that can be defined with a new hire are:
Training and Courses
Are there courses they need to complete, and when do they need to be completed? Specific expectations, like a week-by-week or day-by-day schedule, will help to communicate this clearly, not just asking them to have it all completed in six weeks.
Systems and ProcessesWhat systems are they expected to learn and who can help them? For example, if your new hire isn’t strong in their learning and problem-solving talents, having them take detailed notes while someone demonstrates how to input orders, can help them later on.
Setting Realistic Goals
Once the onboarding expectations are set, it's time to set short-term and long-term goals. This is not your goals for them, but realistic goals they set for themselves, both professionally and personally.
Before meeting with a new hire, ask them to come to prepared with 30/60/90/120-day professional goals, as well as 1, 2, 5, and even 10-year personal (and professional) goals.
Take a look at their short-term goals. Are they realistic? If their 30-day goal is to have made their first $1 million sale, they may be shooting a bit high. Don’t discourage them, but help them to set realistic, obtainable goals, and then encourage them to put these goals where they can see them each day and track their progress. How will they reward themselves when they get that first sale? Obviously, you as the sales manager will give them great positive feedback, but they should have a personal reward in mind as well. The first sale is an essential first step on the path to success, and they should celebrate.
Long-term goals might be both professional and personal. Professionally, where do they want to be in the future? What about their personal goals? Are they looking to buy a new car, house, or take their family on a once-in-a-lifetime vacation? Keeping their long-term personal goals in mind alongside their long-term professional goals will be good motivation to make that one extra call or connection that might be key to closing the sale they need to obtain these goals.
Whether helping to set a new hire's short-term or long-term goals during onboarding, it's vital that you guide the new hire to set realistic goals that can be obtained within the time-frame that's chosen. This gives motivation and accountability as the new hire steps into their role and flourishes over time.
If you want elite employees, it's important you implement an elite onboarding process for new hires. Defined expectations of your new hire along with setting realistic goals at the beginning of their employment will set them up for growth and increased success over time because of the strong foundation they got at the beginning.