Right from the Start

Every manager’s relationship with a supervised employee starts even before the first day at work. Just as jobseekers aim to make the best first impression during the selection process, managers are also often involved in the interview and selection process, and must likewise represent the goals and management style of the company to these prospective employees. How to start off on the right foot with new employees is thus one of the most critical issues managers face.

First experiences make a lasting impression that sets the bar for supervisory relationships. Establishing parameters for normal business operations simply allows both parties to level off on their expectations. Establishing realistic standards of operation saves both sides a lot of heartache and grief from unrealized and unrealistic expectations.  Needless to say the first day of work may be critical in determining the successful integration of new staff. The first meeting with a direct supervisor is even more critical.

Managers usually dispense with the personal introductions and may often get right to the nitty gritty of daily and weekly work load, but this can backfire in jobs that often require a high level of trust and confidence in a manager’s vision or leadership skills. Spending time with a new hire often send them the message that they are a valued part of the team and it is the person and not just the worker that is valued for contributing to the team.

However, when the new hire happens to occupy a managerial role, the importance of introductions to the rest of the management team becomes even more pronounced. Not only are these new hires expected to stand at the helm of a group as its new supervisor and leader, the new managers are expected to hold their own with their peers. These smart welcomes often spell the difference between cohesive teams and disparate performances.

Every company has its own operational system and would benefit from streamlining the HR expectations throughout the system. Designing an effective performance appraisal system can greatly improve both organizational and individual activity, as well as enable most new managers to take to the ground running. Once this appraisal system is in place, implementing it can be an affective experience for the whole company, integrating separate elements into a feeling of a unified whole, an organization growing more aware of itself, and expressing its commitment to pursuing excellence.

The 360-degree evaluation often recommended allows not only the usual top-down evaluation, but provides opportunities for collegial as well as down-up evaluation. Self-assessment is also an integral part of the process, which allows HR to monitor development gaps and recommend the development of new leaders when outstanding performances merit such motivation.

Whether it happens on the first day or as part of a normal evaluation system, comparison of expectations and goals between managers and the employees helps everyone to level off. Awarding successful employees with recognition, opportunities for professional and career development, or simply increasing salaries will generate goodwill and inspire many employees to improve performance. This frees up time for managers to focus on more strategic and long term goals.

When managing less successful employees, managers may need to take some time for coaching and send employees off for training – both of these eat up a manager’s time and company resources. If critical human resources need to be managed through transitions of job responsibilities or function, especially when a company is experiencing great change, managers must determine available resources for achieving both the manager’s and the employee’s common goals.

Preparing for a company’s future structure and redefining roles and functions may require advanced training for staff and managers pinpointed for future critical positions. Aside from the usual material motivators such as bonuses, gifts, holiday trips, HR has utilized trainings by reframing it into a social package, focusing on the growth of team cohesion. Successfully retaining successful employees and developing alternatives to filling out tasks of currently existing critical positions are just some of the considerations managers need to take during these times.