Coaching New Employees: The Challenge and How to Face It

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Coaching New Employees: The Challenge and How to Face It

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By Jabrielle Vincee Delfin
Marketing Associate, Profiles Asia Pacific

New employee orientation and job-specific training serve important purposes.  Coaching, however, is a critical key that is set aside unfortunately once too often. Coaching new employees can be a hard task. As their supervisor you often have little information about the new employee’s strengths and weaknesses and probably know less about their behavioural tendencies, reactions to stress, or other personality characteristics. These latter traits could give you an idea about potential performance issues and their solutions. This awkward position invariably causes a loss of productivity and must negatively impact turnover. Anyone in HR knows the cost that comes along with turnover. The problem – information deficit, the challenge – how to acquire it.

There are three steps in helping your new employees get engaged:

1. Find out the employee’s expectations of the job. Whenever a new employee is hired, always address any questions or confusion the individual may have about the job. Find out whether the job is what really interests the individual. To help confirm or clarify the employee’s perspective of the job expectations, review together a copy of the job description, department’s goals, and company’s goals.

2. Learn about the employee’s expectations for professional growth. Some employees work for just the pay check, and some have specific professional development interests and ambitions. Recognizing and gathering relevant resources to help support and build a plan for each individual’s interests help strengthen employee loyalty.

3. Give feedback about the employee’s performance. Consistent and constructive feedback becomes effective when focused on raising awareness and on improving performance results.

Employee coaching usually involves the managers and employees meeting regularly to discuss and explore each employee’s career goals and development.  But basically that would just take a lot of time and effort. Other companies would incorporate assessments into their recruitment process – assessments that provide supervisors with concise description/discussion on jobfit issues the new employee is likely to have. One of the assessments doing this is the Profile XT – a tool with many reports provided for many different purposes. The language in the report provides flags areas in job related language that should be reviewed with the employee so they know before they start that some elements of the job will be more challenging for them. This “preventative coaching” is more likely to be well received because it occurs before a performance issue has surfaced. The supervisor can be the good guy by providing helpful advice about challenges the employee needs to know about going in to the job.

Always know the direction you need to take your business and the talent you need to make it happen.  Each employee should come out of every formal and informal coaching meeting with a strong picture of both the specific performance goals to achieve and how his or her contributions impact the department and the company as a whole.  When you make the time to commit towards helping develop your employees, you not only make an important understanding of how much you expect them but also an important impression of how much they are being valued.


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