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You may hire new employees all the time and hopefully those hired are always high potential candidates that you can one see aspiring to promotion and strengthening your bench of future leaders. However, this is not always the case and even when it does happen, do we onboard and orient that high potential new hire in ways that maintain their momentum or force them to fend for themselves. Want to maintain the high potential of that employee it took you so long to find and that comes along more rarely, than we’d like? These three methods will prove valuable in that effort.
Create a Strong Foundation
The phrase you only get one chance to make a good first impression is true in many instances, including the one in which that high potential new hire first experiences your leadership and your organization. Give them a good first impression by laying a strong foundation. Efficiently handle their paperwork as their drive and initiative and ambition will also look like impatience with inefficiency. Sit down with him or her on day one and begin to lay the groundwork for your own working style, leadership style, and expectations. Ask for their input on goals and short term objectives. Give them something to reach for. Inspire them with a challenge that can become their focus.
Develop Immediate Respect and Rapport
Often times a high potential new hire will be motivated by action, challenge, results, and a sense of control. They will want to know what their boundaries are and where they are headed, but most importantly, they will likely have a need to have considerable respect for those that are in the lead. This means that you, the leader, will want to earn their respect. Begin with your language: they don’t work FOR you, they work WITH you. They are not “Your person”, they are a team member you have the privilege of leading. In fact, use the steps for building rapport and respect from the first chapter of Contagious Leadership I’ve attached to this blog post.
Provide Timely, Motivating Feedback
Because of a high potential candidate’s likely need for control, feedback that conveys criticism or points out flaws that feel personal, will not be motivating. Micromanaging them will not produce the results you desire. Informal, quick, to the point course corrections that challenge them to do better and give them information on which they can use their own initiative and take action, will propel their results closer to that promotion for which you believe they have potential. In a webinar last week, on Giving Feedback, I discussed at length including a description of the key elements to performance management and how to give feedback in a way that improves performance without crushing their spirit. Your feedback is less about the words you use, or the corrections you’re making, and much more about how they hear your message and what you motivate employees to do with your delivery of the information.
The Monday Moments are all about helping you become a better leader and this one is no exception. Maintain and motivate even more of the high potential from the candidates you hire. Your leadership has the power to turn a new hire into a future leader even with just these three steps.
I’m Monica Wofford and that’s your Monday Moment. Have a great week, an even better Monday, and of course, stay contagious!