New employees can often feel overwhelmed by the whirlwind of new faces, systems, and expectations. It’s not easy joining a company as a newbie and having to learn a new way of doing things, all while trying to fit in, advance their careers, and grow professionally. It can seem like an impossible set of tasks. In fact, 33% of new hires look for a new job within six months of starting a job.
However, when they are presented with clear and achievable goals right from the outset, it serves as a compass that guides them through the initial turbulence toward productive contribution. These goals not only instill a sense of purpose but also promote accountability.
In this article, we will delve into why setting goals for new employees is a cornerstone for sustained success.
Develop a Comprehensive Understanding of the Company
To do this, new employees must first gain a solid understanding of the company’s mission, values, and strategic objectives. This knowledge serves as the foundation for their work, helping them align their efforts with the organization’s overarching goals. You should provide new employees with essential information about the company’s history. Use storytelling to give the new employee a sense of where the company came from and where it is going.
Not only that, leaders should share business-specific information too. Let them know things like market positioning and unique selling propositions during the onboarding process. Encourage new employees to ask questions and engage in discussions. All of this will deepen their understanding of the company’s purpose and vision.
Eventually, new employees will be able to observe and emulate the core values and practices of the organization. Once set this a goal, you’ll bring out the unique set of skills that the new employee possesses.
Understand Your Job Responsibilities
During the interview process, the interviewer and applicant most likely discussed the job responsibilities of the position. But after hiring, make it a goal for the new employee to understand those responsibilities thoroughly.
Obtaining a deeper knowledge of job responsibilities is an essential goal for new employees. Even if they held a similar position before at another company, they must understand how things are done within the new company.
This understanding serves as the foundation for their work. By focusing on this goal, new employees demonstrate their commitment to the company and their role. However, there are other benefits to setting this goal that can also benefit the business.
During the process of understanding their responsibilities, new employees can ask great questions. Leaders can also use these questions to re-evaluate their own processes. Additionally, new employee who has a sense of their responsibilities begins to earn the trust of their managers and colleagues.
Meet Your 90-Day Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
With most positions, 90 days is a fair amount of time to give a new employee to make reasonable progress. The 90-day mark is a great time to gauge how well the employee is doing their job. But also, you can get a good sense of how well they are fitting in within the organization. Setting up key performance indicators for new employees that are reviewed at or around 90 days is a great goal to set.
KPIs provide measurable and quantifiable benchmarks for evaluating employee performance. Achieving these targets is crucial for demonstrating value to the business or organization. By meeting or exceeding KPIs, new employees show their ability to deliver results and contribute to the success of their team and the company.
But it’s important to position this goal in a way that makes the new employee look forward to the 90-day mark. There are a few ways to set this goal and incentivize the employee for reaching their KPIs in 90 days:
- Offer a bonus for the 90-day KPI accomplishment.
- Make the employee eligible for additional time off.
- Give the new employee additional responsibilities that will help their career growth.
- Offer a “reward” such as a gift card.
- If applicable, discuss the possibility of a raise or promotion.
Adapting to the Company Culture
Aligning with the company culture is crucial for new employees. When new employees adapt to the company culture, they seem to fit seamlessly into the organization and contribute to a positive work environment.
Although this seems like a goal that the new employee is responsible for, this is also the responsibility of other employees and leaders. As an organization, it’s important to coach, preach, and teach the company values. This all begins with the onboarding process. 58% of new employees will still be with a company for three years if they completed a structured employee onboarding program, according to the onboarding company Qualee.
If leaders can establish a dynamic company culture that is embraced by the rest of the team, it will be easier for new employees to adapt. When it comes to culture, consistency is key. Practice the habits that make up a positive workplace culture. Address any issues you see that undermine that culture. Be sure to actively include the new employee in any activities or practices that foster and nurture the culture.
Within a short period, the new employee will get a sense of how the company operates and the type of culture it maintains.
Build Strong Work Relationships
For all employees, having a good relationship with co-workers is important. That’s why relationship building should be an important part of new employee development. New employees should prioritize building strong working relationships with other colleagues, managers, and cross-functional team members.
Encourage new hires to engage in networking and team-building activities. Ask them to informal lunches or coffee breaks. This will not only make them feel included, but it will allow you and others to socialize.
Strong working relationships enhance collaboration and boost morale. Also, these key relationships foster a sense of belonging and contribute to a positive work environment. Companies can facilitate this process by assigning new employees to work on projects or tasks that require collaboration with other team members. The important thing is to provide opportunities for new team members to demonstrate their skills and value to the team.
However, this is not a short-term goal. Building relationships takes time. Be patient with this goal and allow it to happen naturally while encouraging its progress.
Complete Additional Training or Development Opportunities
Continuous learning and professional development are crucial for a new employee. One of the worst feelings for many new hires is to feel like their growth is stagnating. As a leader, you should begin to let the new hire know of additional training available. Also, you should make it a goal for them to complete some sort of employee development training within the first six months. By participating in professional development opportunities, new employees demonstrate their dedication to personal growth and their willingness to contribute their best to the organization. This commitment to improvement can lead to increased job satisfaction, performance, and career advancement.
For example, a good goal would be to engage in at least two professional development opportunities, such as workshops, seminars, or training programs, within the first six months.
Developing Effective Communication Skills
Effective communication is critical for collaborating, presenting ideas, and understanding feedback. However, every organization and team communicates differently. Some primarily use instant messaging to get things done. Other businesses utilize team collaboration platforms. While still, other businesses prioritize face-to-face interactions as the primary way to communicate.
For new employees, setting a goal to develop good communication skills within the company is a great goal to set. And this goal will help make their and their colleagues’ jobs easier. By developing strong communication skills, new employees can foster better relationships within the team and improve project outcomes.
- Understand workplace and company terminology
- Learn commonly used communication tools
- Understand the communication chain of command
- Utilize the company’s preferred communication methods
Demonstrating Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking Skills
We all know that problem-solving and critical thinking skills are vital for adapting to challenges. The importance of making informed decisions cannot be overstated. Because of this, a goal a new employee must have is to demonstrate their problem-solving ability. By showcasing these abilities, new employees can contribute to the company’s success and increase their value to the team. Also, by doing this, they can demonstrate their potential for leadership.
Becoming a Team Player
Employers value employees who are willing to work collaboratively, share their knowledge, and support their colleagues. Nearly all applicants place “I’m a team player” on their resume. However, not all who claim to be team players are. This is why setting a goal to help them demonstrate their ability to work well with the team should be set for new employees.
By focusing on teamwork, new employees can develop strong relationships, improve their reputation within the organization, and increase their overall job satisfaction.
One way to help new employees demonstrate whether or not they are a team player is to try to involve them in team meetings. Actively participating in team meetings not only helps the new employee learn about company projects, but it gives them a chance to contribute to the discussions about those projects.
Another way is to assign the new employee projects with various employees. This gives leadership an opportunity to see how well the new employee can work with different team members with various work styles, personalities, and experiences.
In this article, we sought to underline the importance of goal-setting for new employees. Setting goals for new employees is something that should be prioritized in every organization’s onboarding strategy. Not only for the benefit of the company, but also for the new employee and their colleagues. These are just a few examples that will help. But, ultimately, you will need to select the right set of goals that will help you and your employees thrive in the professional world.