dairy employee
May 9, 2016

Get Your New Hire Off to a Good Start

Top Story  |   |  By: Jim Dickrell

Bringing new employees on board can be stressful for both the new hire and the manager. Done right, it can lead to a productive, long-term relationship that’s good for both parties. Done wrong, it can result in frustration all around and a potentially expensive firing.

To do it right, Trevina Broussard, an associate trainer with Humetrics, of Houston, Texas, says there are five, first-month initiatives you should take to ensure a new employee is getting the orientation and training he or she needs to do the job well. Broussard, whose company recruits, trains and manages hourly employees and managers, told farmers at the Professional Dairy Producers of Wisconsin Business Conference that timing matters. If you can connect with a new hire within the first 30 days, you have a much better chance of successful training and buy-in of your dairy’s values. Here are five concrete steps to ensure your next hire starts right:

1. THE FIRST HOUR OF THE FIRST DAY

Select a start date and time that doesn’t coincide with your regular work routine. “Your goal is to leave a positive impression,” Broussard says. “New employees need to feel chosen, and they need to understand how important their job is and how it fits into the big picture of your operation.” Don’t have a new hire start on a Monday, Broussard says, because Mondays are generally hectic as people recover from the weekend and get ready for the new week. Also, set the start time either before or after your normal daily start time, again avoiding the beginning-of- the-day rush. Then give the employee 45 minutes or so of your undi - vided time, orienting him or her to your operation and facility, break room, bathroom, safety equipment, etc. Be sharp. “If you’re lax, the message is they don’t have to be on the ball either,” Broussard says. “If they’re lack - luster in their first hour, they may not be a good fit.

2. END OF THE FIRST DAY

Check back with the new hire at the end of the first day. Ask these questions:

  • Do you have the training and tools you need?
  • Do you have any questions or concerns?
  • What did we do right? What could we improve?
  • What was the most frustrating, boring or confusing thing about today?

Asking these questions shows the new person they’re working for a caring boss, and you might even learn a few things that could be improved.

3. END OF FIRST WEEK

Check back after five or six days to assess the employee’s experiences, again asking questions to solicit feedback. The first week is crucial.

4. FIRST PAYCHECK

Make a point to deliver the new hire’s first paycheck in person. This reinforces his or her importance to your operation. “It can also be used as a teachable moment if there are any red flags,” Broussard says.

5. END OF 30 DAYS

By the end of 30 days, you should know exactly what you’re getting,” Broussard says. “Does this person live the company’s values? Has the person shown initiative and ability to work with - out supervision? Have you experienced any problems such as dependability?” Be open and clear. The final question: Is this person going to work out? If you believe you’ve done everything you can to help them succeed, the answer becomes easy. “The most expensive person you hire is the person you fire. So fire fast if the employee is not working out,” Broussard says.

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