During the onboarding process, you do your best to quickly but thoroughly bring new hires up to speed. However, how do you know if new employees are ready to tackle a truly important assignment? Two tips:
1. Test the new hire. Before you delegate work that must meet specific standards, delegate a necessary, but less critical, task with a deadline. Evaluate the employee’s ability to follow your directions, deliver high-quality work and meet the deadline.
If the employee stumbles, you have more training and coaching to do before you can delegate important tasks.
2. Talk about the results. Whether employees are able to do the task or not, meet with them afterward to discuss either their success or failure. Talk about how they approached the task, problems they encountered and resources they used. Discuss what they learned and what they will do differently next time.
That reveals employees’ initiative and problem-solving abilities. If they encountered problems but figured out a way to deliver the results you expected, they are likely ready to tackle more challenging work.
— Adapted from “How to Tell Your New Hire is Ready for Real Responsibility,” Elizabeth Kennick, www.business2community.com.