The 5 Critical Mistakes Executives Make Which Demotivate New Hires

Written by Andrew Nicholas on Dec 28, 2014

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After going to all the time and effort to find your perfect new hire you want to make sure they hit the ground running.

Research from Deloitte’s has shown that motivated and engaged employees have a positive impact on business performance faster, and that the right support during onboarding is critical to maximising their potential as quickly as possible.

But it’s not always as easy as that. During the first 100 days your new hire will face a moment of truth as they decide whether they are in it for the long haul, and their motivation will be sapped away as the excitement of joining a new company and culture wears off and the reality of their new job becomes apparent.

So what can you do to ensure your new hire doesn’t have a slump in motivation leading to poor performance?

Avoid these 5 pitfalls when onboarding and reap the rewards of a motivated and engaged new team member who is committed to the cause.

1. Not Being Open To Challenges

Top talent is always pushing boundaries, questioning processes and highlighting inefficiencies. That’s part of the reason why they are top talent and why you hired them– they pick up on things others don’t.

If you’re hiring people who are smarter than you (and you should be), don’t take it personally if one of them questions why something is done in a certain way. If it is an inefficiency they are highlighting, the last kind of response they want is one of denial.

2. Getting Stuck In ‘One Best Way’ Thinking

Adhering blindly to process can also have detrimental effects on your new hires motivation. This is particularly true when hiring a top hire into an underperforming team or department. The last thing you want to do is tie one hand behind their back by forcing them to follow the same way of thinking as the rest of the department historically has.

They have a fresh perspective, listen to it and if there’s merit in their suggestions let them set about changing it. It will give them an early project and make them feel like they are being allowed to put a stamp on their new job. Just be careful you don’t let them step on too many people’s toes. Your new hire needs to build support amongst their new colleagues and causing friction between them isn’t a great start.

3. Assuming Experienced People Will Be Fine On Their Own

On a personal level you need to understand your new hire. Even the most experienced people will go through a process of acclimatisation when joining a new company. Top talent will be walking away from a job where they are valued and where their contribution is recognised and praised. Make sure they have a support network in place, even if they decide not to use it. Pay close attention to the background of your hire, if they have spent a number of years in their previous role it will likely be more of a shock to them when they move. Also consider things like location changes and their personal life (new house? Children? etc) as these can put added pressure on an already stressful time in their career.

On a professional level, assuming your new hire doesn’t need any help because of their track record is very short sited. There HAS to be a process in place that allows them to orientate themselves, and for both employer and employee to understand how their skill set will fit in around the existing team. Leaving them to their own devices is asking for trouble.

4. Thinking That Authority Is Enough

Just because your new hire has headed up a successful team in the past, you can’t rely on them walking into a completely new company with a different culture and be able to get the best out of their team without a plan in place. A senior job title is not enough. They’ll still need sponsorship and help setting up 1on1’s whilst they acclimatise themselves to their new environment.

5. Not Achieving Early Wins

When a new hire starts it’s a momentum game. After the typical onboarding and orientation they will be looking for the opportunity to add value. This helps them feel more comfortable in the role, lets their new team know why they’ve been hired and starts delivering early positive results for the business.

If your new hire is any good, they’ll be keen to prove themselves so give them that opportunity to do so. The longer it takes for them to add value, the more they’ll start to question themselves and their move. If that early win doesn’t happen despite the opportunity, give them the support they need to overcome that loss of momentum and help them to rebuild their confidence with another opportunity.

What Next?

Avoiding these 5 pitfalls during the first 100 days will increase the chances of your hire having a positive impact and sticking with you. What you do to ensure you get the most out of a new hire?

If you liked this post you’ll love our ebook ‘Hiring & Holding Onto your Superstars’ where we talk about how to get more value out of your new hires and ensure your best hires stick around. Download it below.

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