Skip to main content

Closing the Productivity Gap - First Day to Effectiveness

When people used to stay in jobs for 10 plus years, there was time for companies to invest both time and money in training and upskilling employees.

In the US, the average tenure is less than 6 years, but it is the under 30's who are moving after short periods.  According to Stats SA, the median employment for the 25 to 34 year old South African worker is 31 months.

Their lack of experience means they need more training before they are productive, and they frequently leave before the company recovers its investment.   While companies can make a real effort to improve their retention, the reality is that younger employees are moving more, so a strategy around closing the productivity gap is crucial, and it starts on day one of employment.

A structured induction process is critical, no matter what the job level.   The day before an employee joins a full plan should be in place, from setting up email addresses to arranging who is going to greet the new person in reception, each detail should be formally documented and checked off, and be an integral part of company culture.

An overview of what the company does, and who to go to for assistance should be part of the first hour.   Although some jobs automatically have a formal training period, there are many positions which management take for granted.   For example, client facing junior positions often kick in on the first or second day and the damage an untrained receptionist can do to a company by not knowing who to transfer calls to and not understanding the company and the company culture may be underestimated.

Smaller companies are particularly challenged, as hand overs from previous incumbents are extremely difficult to achieve.   A really effective idea is to require the leaver to fully document the role:

  • Important external and internal contacts
  • The structure of document storage on his / her computer
  • The unique challenges of the position
  • Special relationships with clients and suppliers should also be part of this document.
This should be done immediately after resignation. The line manager should then carefully go through the document with the leaver, and ensure that it is understood.   This can save hours of time and frustration for both the replacement and the company.

Identify the people who are good mentors, and assign a mentor or buddy.  While this can change over time, it is really nice to have somebody to go to who is not necessarily a direct line manager.

Feedback from colleagues over the years has shown me that one of the most significant causes of unhappiness for both employer and employee is misaligned expectations.   At Accsys, we created a model which starts in the first week and requires manager and employee to discuss and weight their expectations of each other.

In the past, this was an exciting revelation at the exit interview!    now we are able to have the conversation on a regular basis, not just at the annual appraisal.      Does it solve all problems?   Of course not, but it does empower both parties.    Defining management expectations also enables the company to ensure that new employees are working towards the right objectives from the first week.

The downside is that it takes a larger investment of time in the early days, but it pays off in less time down the line.   Training somebody to a level that you can delegate work to them is intensive, and one of the hardest personal lessons for many managers to master (especially those who believe that it is faster and more efficient to do it themselves), but once it has worked once, it really does become easier.

There are still misunderstandings and all of the other issues that go together with working with people, but good planning, and consistent roll out, can shorten the road to productivity.

http://accsys.co.za/news-category/teryl-work

Popular posts from this blog

3 things to do BEFORE you resign

or sign a new contract…
1.Confirm your notice period ·A lot of companies allow 30 days from date of resignation, but many ask for a calendar month
2.Check your restraints ·If you are joining a competitor ·If you are joining a client
3.Find out when your last payment will be transferred ·Companies have been burned by paying over on the 25th, and people not returning, so they may delay payment transfer until the last official working day, or even the first day of the following month.  You may need to make special arrangements regarding debit orders ….
Both your current company and your new one deserve to be fairly treated.   Knowledge of the policies makes this possible.
Even if the policies don’t make sense to you, you agreed to them when you signed your contract.
HR managers will tell you how many great working relationships are damaged because people don’t follow policy when resigning. It’s worth taking the time for many good reasons.  Building a solid career can depend just as much on how you …

Favourite Words

Shambolic – it simply sounds better to me than chaotic.. Do lots of people have favourite words or just a few of us nerds? As everybody is starting to think holidays (or maybe you prefer to vacation), it seemed a good time for a different type of blog. Have you noticed how many words with pleasant associations sound more attractive than those that describe the negative. Watching a TV quiz show the other night made me wonder. The contestant hated bulbous and gusset! There have always been some words that appeal to me, triskaidekaphobia being one. I now know that I had the meaning wrong! I thought it meant fear of Friday the 13th, but it is simply a fear of the number 13, so how does paraskevidekatriaphobia grab you? That is the real word for fear of Friday the 13th. Love it! Now I prefer rural to bucolic, but Robert Beard (see below) selected the latter as one of his favourites. Effervescent is a gorgeous word, so descriptive and onomatopoeic while ethereal makes me think of gossamer and fairie…

Resignation - keep building relationships

Resignation – avoid burning those bridges It has been a great pleasure working with a colleague like you. Now, you are off to your next big challenge! Good luck and farewell!
Isn’t that what we all want to hear when we leave?  We were appreciated and we will be missed.
The need for all parties to maintain professional conduct in the event of resignation is critical, particularly now when we are working within an unsettled socio-economic climate. Employees should avoid damaging relationships, and employers need to adopt a neutral approach and ensure that there are policies and processes that enable the separation to be objectively handled.  For example: ·A formal resignation letter is required·A formal acceptance of resignation is issued confirming any special conditions·An exit interview takes place·Handovers are planned and executed
Our HR team advise those who resign their position to adhere to a few golden rules. Failure to do so could harm whatever bonds have been formed at the workpla…