Being a new employee is a challenge. There is so much to learn. Yet so often, veterans to the organization do nof fully realize how much they know, they take all their experience for granted. When the seasoned and skillful team members are not aware of the depth of their knowledge and expect the newly hired to be as skillful as they are when challenges escalate for the new comer.
Now my examples are from a pharmacy background where I have worked in both hospital and retail settings. But supporting a new person coming on board relates well to all endeavors: an accounting office, a legal firm, a customer service department, a position in retail, a sales office, a recruiting firm, or a church office. IT does not matter, there is a lot to learn.
A recap of the “newbie” is initially exposed to include: taking company policy and procedure exams with the HR department, meeting the company nurse for a physical exam, learning the company software for the job at hand (and often there is more than one software program to learn), simply where things are located in the office, people’s names in the company, customer or patient names, getting around and learning the whole building or maybe a whole campus, and if that is not enough someone starts yammering the new team member on the office politics.
Successful companies are aware of all that needs to be learned and take the time to make the new employee feel welcomed. What often works best is teaching one area at a time. When one aspect has been successfully accomplished, then you move on to the next detail of the organization.
An unfortunate inverse proportion is often the case. The longer one’s years of service with an organization the more they take for granted what they know and the less patience they have with a new colleague. It is the responsibility of management to make this clear to the company veterans. It has been my experience that employees with fewer years of longevity with an organization make better trainers than those who have been with the company for decades. The exception is that the organization have a fully dedicated trainer where teaching is the full time position.
No doubt, and all of us in leadership are aware, training is a great expense that hopefully becomes a great return on investment. Training takes time, and it is often a year before a new employee is truly comfortable in their new role. And one last thought, no matter how thorough a teacher attempts to be, you simply cannot cover everything. There is always the surprise, the exception, and the rarely scene scenario. You can only address those as they come.
In short, to have a new colleague become successful in your organization is to have established colleagues practice hospitality, patience, listening skills, and the ability to explain in a clear and concise manner. It is then that you will have another productive, contented, and team-building employee.