As you work with your new team member to acquaint them with the company, get them up to speed and assist them with gaining and remaining focused on the goal, remember that road blocks can crop up at any time. Here are five speed bumps to watch out for with your team member.

The Reason we are Here

Why do speed bumps even sneak up on us? Often they are born from miscommunication, lack of understanding and preconceived notions. Do your best to avoid issues by taking the time to explain things carefully. Don’t hesitate to ask your team member if they fully understand what you are saying. After all, the reason they are at the company is to uphold the ideals and vision. You would be remiss if they did not understand that aspect. Use that as your guiding principle when tackling potential speed bumps.

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5 Potential New Member Speed Bumps

Take the time. Put in the effort. Get it right from the beginning.

  1. Failure to present the “big picture” – If all an employee knows is their job, they will not appreciate how working with other departments facilitates the motives of the company as a whole. It is not only important to know their role, but how that role fits with the roles of other employees they may interact with during the course of fulfilling their duties.
  2. Distinguish between “urgent” tasks and “important tasks” – There is a distinction. Important tasks are those that have to take priority because they are vital to the company as a whole (satisfying client needs; establishing new business contacts, and etc.). Urgent tasks may only be important because they are past due, but are minor in the grand scheme of things. Explain the difference up front to new team members.
  3. Neglecting to provide the level of authority needed to carry out responsibilities – If you are asking a new member to perform certain time-sensitive tasks, make sure that they have the skill and authority to carry it out. Don’t ask them to make certain decisions about utilizing client resources, for example, if they will need approval from someone else to carry it out.
  4. Stacking the deck with criteria that can’t be measured – If you set a goal for a new team member, make sure that there is some way to measure their progress. When the goal is subjective, it is hard to hold the team member accountable. They won’t know when they are not meeting, meeting or exceeding the expectation.
  5. Risking failure – It is always a good rule of thumb to check on the progress of your new team member regularly. At the beginning, this may be once a week. Set aside time in your schedule to meet with them, answer questions and assess measurable criteria.