Creating Employee Engagement

On April 21, I spoke on the topic of employee engagement.  Below is the slide deck from the presentation:

Building a Winning Business – Patience with New Employees

Building-a-Winning-Business-BookWith introductions and administrative formalities out of the way, it’s time for your new team member to roll up his proverbial sleeves and get to work. Understandably, your expectations are high. You’re finally going to see this genius in action!

Take a deep breath,make a cup of tea, and repeat this ancient Chinese proverb three times: “He who makes no mistakes, usually makes nothing at all.”

With software and probably every other creative endeavor in the world, a poor first draft is almost a requirement. Just expect it. Actually, do more than that. Give your new employees support and encouragement—you know they’re capable of getting it right.

Tom’s Takeaway:  “Nothing of value is created without time and effort.  Be patient with new employees and communicate your confidence in their abilities. People usually live up or down to our expectations of them.”

Thoughts Since the Book:

  • Error on the side of “stepping in early” for employees who seem to need more help, training, or resources.  If you have a rigorous hiring process, it makes sense to support new folks 110%.
  • Similarly, for new employees who are “hitting it out of the park,”step-in  early and provide additional training and team members to help them increase their impact on the firm.
  • The $’s associated with a wrong hire are huge (10’s of thousands of $’s).  Treat it as such.

Building a Winning Business – Checking in with New Employees

Building-a-Winning-Business-BookSuccessfully launching a new employee means checking in on regular intervals to see how things are going. I recommend checking in after the person has been on the job for 30, 60, and 90 days.

  • These are informal opportunities to ask how things are going and whether the employee has clear direction on what he should be doing. We also ask whether he needs any tools or training and, most important, whether there is anything else we should be aware of or anything he would like to discuss.
  • Check-ins provide a one-on-one opportunity for employees to share thoughts and concerns. They also continue to communicate to employees that they’re important and you want them to succeed.

Tom’s Takeaway:  “Regular, informal check-ins with new employees let them know you are committed to their success. They also allow you to fix early problems before they fester into major issues.”

Download Available — D8:

Thoughts Since the Book

  •  Most check-ins result in a “all things are well” conversation.  While it may seem like overkill, the purpose of the check-ins is for those few occasions where all is not well and this dedicated, focused one-on-one provides an opportunity to fix an issue and keep an employee