Avoid These Costly Mistakes When Onboarding New Employees


Payroll is one of the biggest expenses in small business. Most small business owners are not getting their money’s worth from the investment they are making in employees. Taking steps to optimize employee performance directly impacts your profit.

Consider this… have you ever hired a new employee, had great hopes for how the employee would turn out, then a few short weeks later, been very disappointed in that employee’s performance?

It’s possible you made a hiring mistake. It’s also possible you got busy, the employee’s manager was busy, no one trained the manager in your process for onboarding new employees… and, well let’s face it, some important training and orientation to your business slipped through the cracks—all in an effort just to keep things moving and take care of customers.

This happens all too often in small businesses. Overworked small business owners hire a good employee, but unwittingly set that employee up to become a “warm body” collecting paychecks.

Here are 3 simple steps you can take right away to set your new employees up for success:

  • Define clear, measurable results that you expect from this role.
  • Define 30, 60 and 90-day goals for training. Be very specific in terms of the skills you expect the employee to demonstrate at each of these benchmarks.
  • Implement Weekly 1:1s. Schedule brief meetings each week with your new employee. Check in with respect to the employee’s progress toward the training goals. Identify wins and successes for the employee. Tell the employee what he or she is doing right and what you want to see more of! Ask about any challenges the employee is having. Identify aspects of the role the employee is struggling with. Ask the employee what support he or she needs from you to be successful.

Setting clear expectations when onboarding new employees, then following up with regular communication and feedback dramatically increases a good employee’s potential for long-term success with you.  

Sabrina Starling, Tap the PotentialWritten by:

Dr. Sabrina Starling