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Setting expectations for new hires 

by Mar 31, 2022Small Business Leaders

As we come out of the pandemic and begin hiring more staff, you should consider a few critical conversations with every new hire. Setting expectations for new hires is essential as a basis for moving forward with new people.

Often there is essential information you want to convey, but these four topics are often overlooked.

Some time spent concentrating on the following things at the beginning of your relationship can save you uncomfortable situations later. These discussion points are a fantastic way to set up your working relationship (and mutual expectations) for success. You’ll make it safe to have any conversation. Right after they start– ideally at their very first meeting– discuss each of the following:

1. Ask this question when setting expectations for new hires:  How do you like to receive feedback from me? 

Providing feedback, especially when giving negative feedback, is one of the most challenging experiences I hear from leaders. Many small business leaders resist it at all costs. We don’t know how to have feedback discussions and delay having them.

You want feedback to be an easy process, and both of you want to be comfortable about it. Set the groundwork upfront with your direct report that feedback is good. Your employees know what they can expect from you; when you clarify how they most like to receive feedback, it makes the entire procedure smoother.

Setting expectations for new hires 

The conversation might go something like this: “I know that getting feedback has been helpful for me. I want to provide the same for you. But I want to be able to do it in a way that assists you. So, how do you like to get feedback?  When you think about when you received feedback in the past, what has worked well for you? What has not worked? If I believe there’s an opportunity for improvement, how do you want me to discuss that with you?”

2. Ask this question: What areas of the job are you feeling most optimistic about, and what aspects are least comfortable for you? 

Your new team member is likely feeling worried, wishing to make an excellent start and offer a favorable impression. They may feel nervous confessing what they do not know. Make it safe for them to highlight where they’re feeling confident and where they’re challenged. If you do not get much reaction to this question, ask them to consider this more over the next few weeks and discuss it again.

Consider making a plan to ensure they get the assistance they need, and then proactively follow up. Make it clear that you’re not looking too critical here either. You can do this with a follow-up concern like: How can I best be of help to you, particularly in those areas where you feel less optimistic?

3. Ask this question: What do you anticipate will be the optimal outcome, and here are my expectations? 

We can presume we are on the same page when it concerns expectations. Get clear upfront about what is expected, not just regarding the job but also behavior. An excellent discussion when delegating projects, concentrate on “what a completed project looks like.”

Outlining details is very important. Ensure that this is a two-way conversation where you ask great coaching questions like, “what’s important to you in the discussion of this?”  “What will success look like for you in this circumstance?” Don’t forget to ask, “where do you believe you might need and want support? It’s a great idea to ask for help when needed.

4. Ask this question: How can we utilize your strengths, and how do you see yourself moving forward?

Determining strengths and working from them as much as possible is not just helpful for performance, but it’s also been proven to avoid burnout. Positive feedback can bring improved employee engagement.

Put in the time to work out where your new person’s ‘area of genius’ lies– and see how you can get them operating in that area as much as possible.

Ask your new hire: 

• Where do they feel their strengths are most vital?

• What aspect of the job do they anticipate enjoying the most?

• Where do these things merge?

Very simply, that’s a hint to their strengths. You can also utilize StrengthsFinder — a free online assessment– to help you and your employee start to determine those unique strengths that caused you to hire them.

You want to provide the very best start possible with your new hire, which indicates having these crucial discussions, with empathy and curiosity, at the beginning. So, the next time you welcome someone to the team, consider these four discussion points.

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About Henry:
Henry is a Leadership Coach and Mentor. He helps Owners and Executive Leaders develop their teams to grow their business so they can have more time, more results and more money. To learn more, Henry offers a FREE discovery call  check out the details on this website.