The hiring process can be long and tedious for both the interviewer and the interviewee, so it’s frustrating when a new hire doesn’t pan out the way you thought they would. But before you hit the panic button, there are steps to take as a manager to evaluate the situation and where you go from there.
So, what can you do when you have an employee with great experience and potential, but the performance isn’t there?
Keep lines of communication open with the employee and be direct about feedback and expectations. Make sure the employee knows where they are excelling, what they need to improve on, and give them a plan of how they can do just that. There shouldn’t be any room for them to assume. The goals set should be clear.
Go back to the training process and review its execution. Were the expectations and responsibilities of the role communicated clearly to the employee? Depending on the situation they walked into, sometimes the onboarding process is rushed if there’s a need to get someone into the role as soon as possible. If that is the case, take a step back to reacclimate the employee and fill in the gaps where needed.
Don’t waste time if you feel like the employee is floundering. It serves no purpose for the employee, yourself, or the company. A manager’s job is to provide support and guidance when appropriate. At this moment, build a mutual understanding of the established expectations and a blueprint for how to reach them. Also, there should be no questions about the repercussions if expectations are not met.
Enlist a Mentor
Give the employee additional support. Pairing them with a more senior mentor in the same role gives the employee more consistent exposure to the position’s expectations and strategy to meet them. Also, the employee will feel more comfortable asking certain questions to their mentor instead of their manager. This is a great way to help the employee better understand the organization and how to succeed in it.
Offer Professional Development
Investing in their development and further training is an investment for both the employee and the company. These opportunities can be as simple as in-office trainings, digital trainings, or lunch-and-learns and can work up to more complex training with offsite events, conventions, or conferences. When a company provides the tools to help employees improve, it could motivate them to take action and help them feel valued.
Create Action Items
Depending on how the initial conversation goes, evaluate how responsive the employee is to making the changes and create goals or next steps. For example, suppose you determine right off the bat that the situation or current role isn’t going to work for the employee. In that case, you need to terminate them or move them into a different position within the company that’s better suited for them and the organization. On the other hand, if you keep them on board, give them SMART goals to work on and check in with them consistently.
As a hiring manager or leader within a company, it can be daunting to walk through the hiring process from the standpoint of time spent alone. Add in the feeling that the process fails when an employee isn’t performing as you anticipated following the hiring, and it’s disappointing.
Although termination might be the best option, it’s not your only option. The steps above can help determine the best direction for the employee and the organization.