I’m a small business and I need my employees to all be...

I’m a small business and I need my employees to all be the best they can be to justify the expense.How do I maximize the potential of new employees?

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The first step is to ensure you are hiring the right people. You can find a number of articles detailing hiring the right people and interview techniques here:

Six Not So Secrets to Successful Hiring

Perfecting Interviewing Techniques

Are Your Interview Questions Tough Enough

Once you’ve hired someone, you need to decide what you’ll do to maximise that person’s strengths while addressing and minimising limitations.

Here are some tips that will help you get the most of your new hire:

  • Create a training programme. This can be either formal or informal, depending on the size of your company. The goal of this programme will be to bring your new hire up to speed with the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for successful completion of their new job. Simply because a candidate was successful in a similar job at another organization does not ensure this person will be successful in your organisation.
  • Set up a process with the new hire’s direct supervisor to monitor progress. This might be you as the entrepreneur or a line manager. Either way, even if you are incredibly busy yourself (as most entrepreneurs are), you need to find the time to provide immediate feedback on all aspects of job performance. Don’t wait for the end of the typical 90-day review period to catch the person doing something right or wrong. Immediate feedback provides the immediate opportunity for growth and improved performance. If you want the most from your hire, you need to work this into your schedule – it will be worth it.
  • Develop a mentoring system. Select an individual who can serve as ‘Big Brother’ or ‘Big Sister’ to offer advice, especially on how things are done around the office, the company’s value system, as well as possible landmines, such as difficult people, issues, politics, processes, norms or unwritten rules. This mentor should be a respected individual in your company, but should not be the person’s direct supervisor.
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