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Help new employees orient you

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in Leaders & Managers,Management Training

New people on your team may not know much about the way you do things. That's good news for you--because your new employees can help you ask the questions that lead to improvement. By bringing fresh eyes and perspectives to your everyday work, they can contribute to your ongoing success literally from their first moments on the job.

As part of their orientation, give new people a few questions that, within a set time period (say, two weeks), you want them to answer about your operation. These aren't yes-or-no, get-the-facts questions like you might use in a tutorial about a new work assignment. Rather, these are open-ended assessments. Some examples: Do you think we could perform our procedures more efficiently? Is our people's work matched to their strongest skills? Could we easily and effectively explain the work we do to outsiders?

Your new people's answers to such questions may reveal gaps in their knowledge of your operations, in which case current team members can help the new employees better understand what's going on. But you'll also learn about areas of your enterprise that could use a second look. If your goals or methods don't make sense to a new employee, why should they make sense to a new customer?

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