When you make a new hire, use the employee's probation period--often the first 90 days of employment--to make sure you've got a good fit and that the worker can succeed. Here are some insights from HR pro Dana Jarvis, as reported by Workforcemagazine:
Establish expectations. Many new hires underperform because they're not given a real chance to show what they've got. Prepare clear, specific objectives for a new hire to accomplish in the first weeks on the job. "Plan small wins along the way to help them succeed," Jarvis writes.
Correct problems immediately. "is sometimes tricky to learn," Jarvis notes. Expecting new workers to figure out such problems on their own is both unfair and a flawed way of testing their mettle. If new hires hit snags that you know can be fixed, you should show them what to do.
Identify strengths and weaknesses. When a new hire shows valuable skills or abilities, make sure you acknowledge, recognize and keep track of these strengths. Talk to new workers about how you can work together to leverage these new assets. Meanwhile, when new employees show that they could use training in specific areas, talk with them about ways to fill those skill gaps.
Keep your door open. It's almost impossible to communicate too much with new hires learning the ropes. A new worker who has lots of questions now will be less likely to burden your time with questions later. Help new hires get up to speed by making sure they can participate fully in the social activities of your team.