New role, new methods, new colleagues, new demands. Exciting yes, but even the most confident individual can be daunted by their first few weeks at work. Which is why employers need to remember one vital fact: No matter how skilled, well-qualified and experienced he or she may be, your new executive is not psychic! You and your existing team are unknown quantities; it takes time for a newcomer to find out how you tick.
By the same token, you need to understand the needs and challenges of your employee if they’re going to settle into your company. So here are a few guidelines to smooth the way to a successful, ongoing partnership.
Co-operation works both ways
Just because you’ve ‘always done things that way’ doesn’t mean they can‘t be improved. (Where would the internet be with that attitude?) A wise employer doesn’t rely on traditional methods, but is always open to suggestions. Someone new to the company’s table brings a fresh mind with no preconceptions and is often bursting with ideas.
And who knows better how to deal with your front line than the people manning it? So, learn to harness and exploit this intelligence.
“Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success.” – Henry Ford, American Industrialist
Henry Ford (1863 – 1947, American industrialist)
Learn to listen
Best way to communicate? Shut up. Dignify your employees by allowing them freedom of expression. Even if you don’t agree with their suggestions or criticism, you make them feel valued simply by listening.
Don’t just ask how they’re getting on; probe a little, draw them out and by taking their concerns on board, you gain their confidence, encourage dialogue and find out exactly what does and doesn’t work effectively for your company.
According to Barbara Corcoran, founder of the Corcoran Group and Shark on ‘Shark Tank’ “It’s always nice to get a compliment, but there’s real gold in well-intentioned criticism from a loyal employee. The only way you’ll get the gold is by actively listening.”
Loyalty begins with trust
A productive employee is a happy employee. The days when bosses ruled with iron fists are well and truly over. The ‘my way or the highway’ road leads nowhere.
A wise employer will make everyone on the payroll feel they’re a valued part of the team – by asking questions, soliciting opinions and listening to their concerns. Taking a personal interest in each individual pays huge dividends. Not only will you create a pleasant atmosphere, but also foster mutual trust, security and loyalty. Employees who feel they belong and are appreciated will always give of their best.
“There are few, if any, jobs in which ability alone is sufficient. Needed, also, are loyalty, sincerity, enthusiasm and team play.” — William B. Given, Jr, Publishing Executive
You have an urgent order to deliver for your biggest client. If you’ve worked to provide a sense of unity amongst employees, they’re more likely to rally to the cause. But the ‘because I say so’ approach only causes resentment.
Connect with employees, explain the challenges you face and why you’re asking them to pull out the stops. Not only will they comply, but may come up with good ideas on how to overcome your obstacles in the process.”
Help employees realise their potential
Everyone is responsible for their own goals, which need to be identified and questioned. “What are my motives? Why do I want this? How best can I achieve it?”
Team and individual meetings provide great opportunities for employees to define their what’s, why’s, and wherefores. Allow them to express themselves, help them realise their potential and cheer them on to success.
Take the lead
You can’t lead troops unless you’re willing to join the ranks. There’s a time to sit behind the desk of your air-conditioned office, but you need to regularly show your face and get involved in the daily dealings of the business, to get to know your employees and the problems they face. Put yourself in their shoes, empathise with their worries and acknowledge their achievements.
Give employees the chance to fail
Nobody, but nobody, ever does everything perfectly. That’s no reason not to let employees try. Executives in middle and senior management are intelligent people who are always looking to improve – both their own performance and company processes. That’s why you hired them.
So let them get on with it. Encourage them to take responsibility and you’ll boost their confidence, inspiring mutual trust. Should their ideas fail, analyse the problem, focus on the positive and, above all, be constructive – but never hold the sword of Damocles over his or her head.
Never ask anyone to do what you wouldn’t do yourself
Nothing, NOTHING, gets your staff on side more emphatically than seeing the boss roll up his or her sleeves. If, say, there’s a need to clean an area, unload a special delivery, conduct emergency repairs or simply brew up, don’t hold back. Be willing to do your bit, working shoulder to shoulder with your crew.
Make sure you hire the right person
By using a specialist recruitment tools, you can reduce costs, time and the risk of mis-hiring. As part of our service, we provide behavioural assessment for all shortlisted candidates. This facility identifies individuals who not only have the relevant skills, experience and expertise but also possess behavioural traits that will ensure a good fit both for the role and the company culture