Getting New Hires Up to Speed Takes Longer Than You Think
Check out this recent article from Small Business Trends on what to expect while training a new employee:
Do you think your small business does a great job of getting new hires off on the right foot because you provide two or three weeks of intensive training and supervision?
That’s a good start, but it may not be enough to create a dedicated, loyal and engaged employee.
According to “Support, Undermining, and Newcomer Socialization: Fitting in During the First 90 Days,” a long-term study published in the Academy of Management Journal, positive and negative interactions with co-workers and bosses during the first 90 days of employment have lasting effects on a new hire’s attitude and performance long after the 90 days are up.
Below is some of what the research found, and what it means to your business.
Getting New Hires Up to Speed
The study followed 264 new employees over 90 days and found that high levels of support from supervisors and co-workers led to new employees who had more positive attitudes toward their jobs, felt more integrated with their co-workers and worked harder.
In contrast, employees who had negative experiences with co-workers and supervisors in the first 90 days were more likely to feel “left out” of their peer group, which led them to perform poorly, call in sick to work or not show up at all.
During the 90-day time period, support from co-workers and supervisors declined significantly after the first few weeks. Even supervisors who paid a lot of attention to new employees during their first weeks typically slacked off after that, either due to job pressures or helping other, newer employees onboard.
As support from supervisors dwindled, so did new employees’ positivity about their jobs. The good news – an uptick in support from their bosses was all it took to get the new employees feeling positive again.
A new employee’s relationship with the boss is especially important. The study reports when supervisors undermined new hires, it led to a much higher likelihood the employee would leave the job.
But co-workers are important, too, as both positive and negative interactions with them played a strong role in new hires’ feelings about their work. (One of my friends bitterly remembers the day 25 years ago when she asked if she could eat lunch with two co-workers on her first day at work, only to be met with blank stares and complete silence.)
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