Nathaniel is the newest member of the team behind the TalentSpace Blog. In his first few weeks here, he's seen what it's like to move to a company that lives and breathes ongoing performance management. Here are a few things he's picked up along the way.
You start at a new company. They bring you in for orientation where they give you an email address, have you read the employee handbook, show you how to book a vacation, and send you right to training. And before you know it, you're well on your way. But, something is missing.
I've seen this tired onboarding process at a few different companies since graduating university. But since starting at Halogen, I've seen how a great onboarding program can prepare new employees for contributing to a culture of ongoing performance management. New hires are your organization's blank canvases and can help strengthen the foundation of your company culture. Setting expectations in advance with new hires about how they can do their part to support a culture of ongoing performance management will help get their immediate buy-in.
Here are a few ways you can use your onboarding process to help get buy-in from new staff about the benefits of ongoing performance management.
Introduce it right away
In all likelihood, your new hires have never worked in an environment rich with ongoing performance management, so expose them to it early and often. Whether your new hire is fresh from university or simply switching from another company, make sure they know exactly what ongoing performance management is all about and why it's important.
Walk them through your talent management system on day one. Show them where they can set goals, give and receive feedback, sign up for learning modules, and encourage the use of the tools right away.
Show them feedback in action
Some learn by doing. Others learn by seeing. A key aspect of ongoing performance management is giving and receiving feedback. It's important that your new hires understand how to give feedback beyond just saying "Hey, great job!" or "Thanks for helping me on this project." After all, one of the easiest ways to adopt a new behavior is to replicate it. Walk new employees through how to give meaningful feedback that is timely and full of detail so they understand how to best communicate what they want to say.
Show them success stories
During the onboarding process, show how your ongoing performance management strategy has helped people in the organization. It's one thing to show new hires what to do, but it's another to show them what it can lead to. Tell new hires stories about how lots of positive feedback fueled someone's growth and development which led to a promotion, or how someone used their feedback to correct poor behavior and excel in their role.
"So you guys have meetings with me all the time and ask me lots of questions, big deal!"
While few new hires will speak up like this, that doesn't mean they aren't thinking it. Educate incoming staff on why you use ongoing performance management strategies. If employees know the background of the practices, the studies that prove their worth, and the resulting business outcomes, they'll know that participating is more worthwhile.
An early start sets up success
The first few weeks at a new company are meant to be chock-full of learning. New hires get to know the company culture, business processes, organizational objectives, and everything in between. Take this onboarding time to set employees up to succeed in an ongoing performance management culture, and they'll perform at a top notch level.