How to integrate a new employee

By Juli Leith | February 19, 2014 | Last updated on February 19, 2014
3 min read

You’ve hired a new team member. Now what? Here are three steps to integrate her.

1. Training

When you hired your new employee, you matched her skill set with the job description. But few candidates are perfect fits, so figure out which gaps still exist by observing how she performs various tasks. At the same time, create a dynamic 90-day training plan to fill those gaps, as well as teach her about your team’s specific practices. Update the plan if new gaps appear, or if she learns faster than expected.

Read: Hiring a family member

If the previous employee is still in the job you hired for, he can perform training. If not, consider the following:

  • Having the employee read the internal procedure manual
  • Using resources outside your office (e.g., your wholesaler) and third-party support organizations (e.g., Advocis and other membership organizations)
  • Asking the employee to shadow someone in a similar role
  • Having suppliers provide online or in-person training

2. Communication

During those first three months, set aside a specific time to speak with her daily. Otherwise, every day will consist of a lot of interruptions as each of you asks questions as issues arise.

During these meetings, discuss what was accomplished the previous day, what the plan is for the current day, and answer any questions. This allows the new employee to understand how you think, how you want things done and what you value. You can also provide context about your firm’s philosophy and methods.

Read: Create an efficient hiring process

The new employee will make mistakes, and it’s important you give timely, constructive feedback on those errors so she doesn’t repeat them. But for every potential piece of negative feedback you give a new employee, you should also tell her two or three things she’s doing right. Part of integration is building the new employee’s confidence so she can successfully execute the job.

That said, if the same employee makes that same mistake over and over and you’ve given her the requisite training, you may have identified a gap that can’t be closed. If this is an isolated performance issue, this particular task might need to be delegated to another team member. This might task may not be a strength with the employee and their strengths lie elsewhere. If this isn’t an isolated issue, and the mistakes are happening across the board, this may be grounds for dismissal.

If the 90-day period has been successful, you’ll have moved the employee from being dependent on you, to being interdependent with you.

Read: An all-star roster

3. Empowerment

Ultimately, you want your new employee to be empowered to do her job. That’s when she’ll have opinions and perspectives of how to do the job differently or better. Seek these out when you’re looking for new solutions. That way, you maximize the resources within your firm and allow employees to participate in its growth.

Juli Leith, BA, FLMI, CFP, CLU is a coach at The Personal Coach.

Juli Leith