This week we will be building on the topic of last week’s blog. Last week we discussed how we take a unique and effective approach to help our clients secure the best candidate possible. However, it’s important to realise that that’s not all it takes to make a working relationship successful.
This week we will be giving guidance on how to prepare for a new team member to ensure the integration is smooth and lays the foundation for a long lasting working relationship.
What to prepare before the 1st day
There are a few things to get ready before the start of your new employees first day. Having these things prepared beforehand not only ensures you cover everything with the new employee, but it also looks professional and will immediately make your new employee feel secure.
Job description/ Induction pack
Ensure you have a clear and engaging job description written for the specific employee and their role. Include their name in the job description. Create an induction pack for each role in the company to give to new starters.
The job description should include the following:
- A job title
- Outline the values and ethos of the company
- Expected daily tasks and schedule
- The company’s expectation of how to talk to and address clients.
- Identify the employee’s line manager
The rest of the induction pack should include the following:
- Information about any products (if any) they will be using
- Where to find the equipment applicable to the job (eg: spare towels are on the shelf in the laundry, all spare facial products kept in room two cupboard)
- Complaints procedure
- GDPR information if applicable to the role
- Health and safety information
Daily procedures and checklist
The new employee doesn’t necessarily need to keep a copy of these but you should have one handy to discuss on the induction day. Ensure you have an outline of the daily procedures and a checklist to give to a new team member to help them remember everything.
You may choose to have these displayed and ticked daily or just as a reference.
Having clearly outlined systems and procedures allows them to know exactly what is expected of them.
One very important thing that often gets missed when hiring a new employee is an induction day. Often new hires walk in the door and are expected to slot in and get on with it. This is a very intimidating situation and the anxiety from this can cause the new candidate to make a mistake, in turn affecting their confidence.
Make the time to have an induction day or half day with the new employee to discuss the job description, go over the induction pack and have any questions answered.
Discuss the vision
The vision of the business is what sets the tone and the attitude of the employees. However, saying that something is the business’s vision and implementing it are two different things. As a manager its important to consistently uphold those values at all times and when people can see that you are committed to the positive ethos, they are more likely to follow suit.
The importance of KPIs
KPI stands for Key Performance Indicator. As boring as it may sound (like lots of boring things) these are very important. Setting realistic KPIs allows your new employee to know exactly what is expected of them and how to achieve it.
A good KPI will always be linked to a strategy- this means that there is a clearly defined path to reach the outcome. To give an example: If the average therapist has x amount of return customers, set the new employees KPI to reach just under that number in the first few months. That way you are not creating unrealistic expectations and it gives the employee enough time to get settled and achieve the goal.
Specific product training
Go over any products they will be using (if applicable) and make sure they understand what they are using and answer any questions. This can be to do with beauty products, booking systems or anything that is specific to the role. An open communication channel is very important from the start to ensure an honest working relationship emerges and they feel they can come to you should they be unsure about anything.
Having regular catch ups and performance reviews is a very good habit to get into. These meetings often carry a negative connotation amongst staff because they often get forgotten about and are only done when there is a problem. Doing them habitually removes the negative connotations and makes for more honest communication. Making time to get all these meetings scheduled takes some planning in advance but will pay off hugely in the long run.
As a standard in your business, you should have a team meeting weekly as well as 1-2-1 meeting between the owner and line managers. These should be done at the same time on the same day every week. Create good habits in your business, that way it can be one less thing you don’t have to think about in your very busy day.
We suggest with your new team member to review 1-2-1 weekly for the first month. Then monthly until the probation is up. Have these time booked before the new employee starts and make provision for cover during these times. This way meetings don’t get postponed last minute and it makes your business look more professional. This adds to the security an employee feels in their new role.
For the rest of the team do monthly individual reviews (line managers to team) and go over KPI’s, goals, shortcomings and solutions for the next month.
The probation period
Studies (and our own experience) have shown that managers, sales and target driven people in the business usually take 6 months to settle in and start seeing a return.
The standard probation period is 3 months and needs to be a constructive period and can be structured in a number of ways. One method that we have found works very well is to start the employee on a lower wage in the probation period. This does the following:
- Demonstrates the employee’s dedication to the job
- Saves the business money should the candidate not work out
- Works as a motivator for the candidate to work to your standard, knowing they will be compensated for it in the end. -Contact us should you want guidance on how to do this.
The probation period is there to serve a multitude of purposes:
- Gives the new team member a chance to get a feel for the place/team
- Gives you as the manager a chance to get a feel for the new team member and whether they are a good fit
- Gives you time to assess what training if any is further necessary
- Gives the team member a chance to identify if any further training is necessary for themselves
We suggest having a weekly catch up in the first month and then monthly thereafter. Make sure that this is a dialogue between the both of you. We’ve all had that manager that only points out the bad and ignores what is going well. Don’t be that guy. In these meetings, discuss the following:
- Always start with what they are doing right and where they are excelling
- Answer any questions they may have
- What they are falling short on and how they can improve- keep all criticism constructive
- When discussing short-comings, go back to how it affects the values of the business, you need to be discussing this all the time to show that you are committed to the vision
This ensures the candidate is 100% aware of what is expected from them and avoids any confusion
Into the future
Once your candidate has proved themselves and you are happy to take them on beyond the probation period, it is important to stay mindful of maintaining this foundation you have created with them.
Make nice on your promise of a raise- they have worked hard to impress you, and this is your way of showing that you recognise that.
Keep up the monthly team meetings as this will help you to get a feel for how the team is functioning, not only in the work they are doing but from a mental health standpoint as well.
Make sure to stick to the procedures and systems at all times. This shows consistency in your leadership and your employees will trust you.
Have a read here for some guidance on how to create good habits within the business to ensure success and progression.
Keep an eye out for the next blog where we will discuss standards and expectations of therapists specifically.
“Goals without routines are wishes; routines without goals are aimless.”