It creates an awkward situation. You bring in a new hire, and everyone starts the process upbeat and excited. But, then, things begin to turn. That compelling new hire just isn’t working out. “Oh yes!” has descended into “uh oh.”
It’s a surprisingly common problem. Studies show that nearly half of all new hires fail. For instance, stats compiled by Leadership IQ show that 46% of new hires flame out within a year and a half. The other side of the spectrum is similarly grim. The same data set showed that only about one in five (19%) of recruits become absolute successes.
As management, your goal is to catch these situations early. The sooner you can identify a mistake, the sooner you can fix it. By quickly spotting those recruits who are destined to fail, you’ll save resources and get on track faster.
On the other hand, you don’t want to become “trigger happy”. If you get in the habit of dropping underperforming recruits too quickly, you may spend the rest of your career hiring, training, and firing. You’ll never get anything else done.
You need to find that ideal compromise; a process that allows you to identify lost causes early but keeps you from missing out on good long-term talent just because they encounter a few initial hiccups. Here are some steps to take when that new hire is struggling:
Before you hire a new employee, create a timeline of expectations. Map out how you anticipate their early tenure will go. Estimate what their projected output should be at specific points in time. Share these goals with the new recruit. This way, everyone knows the definition of success going into the process. It makes it easy to review the situation, and lets the new hire track their own development.
Take Action as Soon as Possible
Step in as soon as your new employee falls behind your expectations. This doesn’t mean you should immediately go to extreme measures. Don’t fire someone at the first sign of trouble. Instead, it would help if you created an improvement plan as soon as you notice a problem.
One size doesn’t always fit all. An otherwise good employee can get off to a bad start – a situation that can happen for all sorts of understandable reasons. Take these individual circumstances into account as you decide what to do with your underperforming employee.
Create a Detailed Improvement Plan
Telling an employee to “work harder” will rarely lead to meaningful improvement. Instead of using shame or motivational techniques, chart the concrete steps your employee needs to take to improve. Create a detailed plan, customized for the particular situation, complete with a timeline and measurable benchmarks. This will let you track progress and figure out whether your employee is developing on schedule.
Know Your Limit
Unfortunately, not every worker is worth the effort. If your improvement plan is falling short, you might need to take drastic steps. In other words, don’t invest too much in a lost cause. Part of your improvement plan should include a hard performance floor. If your employee can’t reach that level, you should consider a replacement.
Finding the right workers can be tough. It helps to have expert advice and a deep roster of talent to choose from. You can get this by working with a top-flight recruiter, like Recruiting In Motion.
Contact Recruiting In Motion today to find out how they can assist with bringing your staff to the next level.