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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Job Role

Posted by on in Workforce Planning

Moving into new or expanded leadership roles can be both exciting and daunting. Many frontline or first time leaders often have strong technical or operational skills but, as any leader will tell you, it is the people management skills involved in successfully leading teams that are often described as the most critical!

For those experienced leaders, adapting and growing your leadership skills as your responsibilities or the size of your team expands can also challenge our confidence. The weight of expectation can be overwhelming so it becomes important to make the best possible start on the new leadership journey.

Here are some strategies to help you make the best possible start to fulfilling your leadership role.

1. Do your homework on the business unit as much as possible. Understand their role,  previous performance successes and disappointments, any external challenges they have faced recently or changes that may be imminent.

2.   Confirm the scope of your responsibilities, available resources, levels of decision making authority and ways in which your performance will be measured.  

3.   Spend some time on determining how your role and your team can add the best value to the organisation. Start to build your strategic thinking capability. Reflect on what the functions are of the team. Are there opportunities to improve the contribution to the organisation in the way the team delivers their services?

4.   Develop and confirm your ‘must do’ priorities for your first 3,6,9,12 months. This planning includes the preparation of your ‘100 day plan’ usually at the commencement of a new position which assists you to focus your energies and avoid becoming overwhelmed. Once developed the plan should be discussed with your senior managers and also your teams so that the focus of your efforts is clear and expectations can be clarified.

5.   Clearly communicate your vision or plan to the team. Where do we want to be in 12 months? What do we want to have achieved? What are our goals? How will we get there? How will we measure our performance?

6.   Discuss and confirm the communication methods that will work most effectively for your teams, senior managers and peers.  

7.   Define the culture you believe is necessary for the team. What behaviours are appropriate? What positive behaviours and attitudes need to be fostered? Once these have been defined you can communicate those expectations clearly to the team. What key organisational documents will support you in driving positive cultures?

8.   Make a concerted effort to personally connect with your team and one to one partnerships.

9.   Make a conscious and determined effort to make positive impressions at every opportunity in your new role. Convey your leadership through your communication and your actions by delivering on expectations with conviction and enthusiasm.

10. Invest in your network. Create a deliberate strategy to invest in building strong internal and external stakeholder partnerships. 

11. Manage the change process. Where you have a number of change projects identified, reflect on the priority, the expected outcome, the current engagement level of the team and implement the change program accordingly. It will be counterproductive to tackle too many fires at once. Focus on small wins initially to build your confidence and the confidence of those around you.

12. Deliver.  Deliver.  Deliver. New managers must deliver successful outcomes within reasonable time frames. Identify the priorities and focus your efforts on ensuring that projects of tasks are completed to a high standard. Resist the temptation to take on too many things at once for exactly this purpose. It will undermine your efforts to complete and this will affect your confidence.

For more information on options to develop confident and competent leaders in your  organisation, please contact us.

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How to make the most of this important investment in your new staff.

This is the second blog in a 2-part series. The last blog focused on the value of effective onboarding and induction processes to build staff engagement. 

To project a professional image and maximise the opportunity, recruitment, induction and onboarding should be conducted as a cohesive effort!

Tips for effective onboarding

While the formal induction program may start when the employee first arrives to begin work, the actual onboarding experience should begin well before the first day.

Some basic tips for an effective induction and onboarding program include:

Before the start date:

Contact the new starter by phone prior to their first day. First-day nerves can be eased by providing the new starter with some basic information which can be easily sent to them and include information such as:

    • How to get to work (maps, bus routes, etc)
    • What time to arrive
    • Where to park
    • How to dress
    • Where to go/who to ask for and contact details
    • What activities to expect on their first day.

Upon arrival:

People will feel welcome if their arrival is expected. This can be seen as a small detail but it does send a very powerful message about an organisation and their internal communication processes. It sets up the first day in a positive way so inform reception or other relevant staff when a new employee is starting so that they are welcomed. 

Ensure immediate team members are updated so they are not taken by surprise when introduced to the new person but, rather, also offer a warm welcome.

Take the time to have a workstation prepared. For example, secure a telephone and computer prior to the employee starting work. Set up email addresses and prepare network access where appropriate so employees can get to work immediately.

Give the new employee a task to start working on that is relevant to their ongoing work. This will ensure the employee is being productive and feels useful from the start. The task should be easily achievable, yet meaningful.

Expectations of performance and behaviour

Ensure that the new employee’s position description is accurate and current. The manager should spend time discussing the position description with the new employee, explaining the work in the broader context and providing clarification where necessary.

Further to that, provide an overview of how the new employee fits in with the rest of the team, how the team fits in with the department, and how the department contributes to the overall effectiveness of the business for example. It may be useful for the new employee to spend some time with other members of their team to learn more about workflows.  When people understand their role in the wider organisation they are more likely to be engaged in the business and their work.

Ensure you clearly explain performance expectations and also behavioural expectations of the business. You can then clarify any concerns at this point. 

Discuss the Code of Conduct and ensure a clear understanding of what is required. Agreeing on the performance criteria at the outset will ensure that the new employee is clear about your expectations of them.

This is critical given the provisions of a probationary period.

Ensure regular communication opportunities. Managers should meet the new employee ideally at the beginning and end of their first day. Include time regularly in the initial days and weeks to check in with how they are finding the new position.

The information ‘dump’

Induction processes can often become an information dump. Do not bombard a new employee with too much information at once. They will be overwhelmed and will be unlikely to retain very much. Instead, deliver information in stages, depending on priority and relevance. Try not to accomplish too much on the new starter’s first day.

Make the process as interactive as possible. Generate discussion to ensure understanding. People are less likely to retain information from an experience they were not engaged in.

Documenting the process

Documenting the date, content and attendance of staff taking part in induction processes is critical. The agenda should ensure all legislative obligations (e.g., safety) are all addressed.

New employees should sign as acknowledgement of their understanding of relevant organisational documents such as Codes of Conduct, Employee handbooks and performance arrangements.  Any equipment or security clearances should also be acknowledged.

Finally, always actively source feedback from new staff on the induction and onboarding process. It is the key to driving continuously improving these important phases.

For more information on your onboarding and induction processes so that your organisation can meet its goals, please contact us.

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The value of effective ‘onboarding’ and induction systems for new staff

(Part 1 in a 2-part series on the benefits of cohesive and holistic staff entry programs.)

How staff are introduced into a workplace can often set the tone for their level of engagement and contribution to the organisation in both the short and long term. 

How we manage these important phases in the employee life cycle directly reflects on our professionalism as a business. New staff are forming their first impressions on the organisational culture and the aim should be to create, and maintain, a positive impression.

Disputes can later arise over what information was provided by an organisation during induction/onboarding phases, particularly in terms of the quality of safety information provided or expectations around KPI’s and performance. 

Some legislative requirements must also be met and an inadequate process often comes back to haunt businesses as standards and practices fall short of expectations on both sides of the ledger.

A systematic and well thought out program will avoid all of these potential pitfalls!

What is onboarding?

Onboarding is a broad term that discusses how organisations acclimatise new staff. 

The goal is to accommodate and assimilate new staff into the organisation so that they may start contributing as early as possible. 

Onboarding is a continuous process which extends beyond the initial induction and ensures new staff are supported during the early part of their careers.

How does onboarding differ from induction?

Induction is an important part of the overall onboarding process, but is typically more focused on the procedural aspects. 

Induction phases are usually shorter term in nature and provide information, guidance around procedures and support to new employees.  Addressing ‘how things work’ will enable a speedy adjustment to the new environment so they can begin productive, meaningful work as quickly as possible.

To be effective, induction should be a structured program that is implemented consistently across an organisation to provide orientation, organisational knowledge and initial on-the-job training requirements, safety information and attend to administrative functions such as computer access and payroll.

Why is it so important to get these steps right?

There is a direct correlation between induction and onboarding (or the lack of) and early employee turnover. Turnover in the early stages of employment is costly in both tangible and intangible terms to the employer due to the following reasons:

  • Cost of recruitment | Re-recruitment doubles the cost.
  • Loss of return on investment | If an employee leaves within the first three months of employment, the company will receive little, if any, return on investment for the training and resources provided.
  • Loss of productivity | Turnover is disruptive to staff and your business operations.  The duties/priorities of other employees will need to be reorganised to cover the duties of people leaving prematurely.
  • Cost of temporary replacement | Temporary staff may be hired to fill the gap, bearing an additional cost to the company. Temporary staff will need to undergo initial training and, depending on the nature of the work, may be unable to work on long-term projects, thus affecting productivity further.
  • Reflection on the organisational brand | Often people leaving due to inadequate processes will often discuss their experience negatively.

Probationary Periods

The probationary period is designed to assess an employee’s competence and professional behaviour before making a commitment to their ongoing employment. However this period is also an opportunity for an employee to assess the organisation and how you perform in onboarding and induction will be critical!

Benefits of effective induction and onboarding

In addition to reducing early employee turnover, effective induction and onboarding offers the following benefits:

  • Strong programs reinforce the decision of the new staff member to join the organisation. Positive, professional experiences validate their choice and turn the lust into love!
  • Makes new employees feel welcome and valued which will underpin engagement
  • The structure of the process and open communication reduces a new starter’s anxiety by assisting them to adapt to the new environment quickly and clarify concerns.
  • The appropriate levels of productivity and efficiency are reached earlier
  • There is less reliance on the direct supervisor/manager for direction
  • There are organisational benefits as the opportunity is presented for existing employees to mentor new staff while simultaneously developing their own skills.
  • Builds a culture of professionalism and positive communication.  These processes should encourage feedback so that employee dissatisfaction can be addressed early on.

Please see Part 2 -, Tips for Effective Onboarding and Induction - for practical tips on how to make the most of these important staff development opportunities.

For more information on your onboarding and induction processes so that your organisation can meet its goals, please contact us.

 

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Posted by on in Archive

Well-written position descriptions are a foundation in building  positive organisational culture and are an invaluable tool in managing people.

Position descriptions offer clarity to your team by outlining a position/role in terms of why a job exists, the position objectives, the responsibilities and outcomes, the capabilities and behaviours required and under what conditions the job is performed.

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