A Plan for Developing New Team Members

Starting with a clear vision of your desired outcome and an honest evaluation of where you are will help you create a development plan and resolve possible problems down the road.

When someone new joins your team, everyone expects the best outcome. In order to achieve this, many things need to be considered.

Clear expectations – a clear understanding of expected outcomes – allow the member to use his skills and resources to accomplish the desired outcomes.

Consistency of leadership – if your team doesn’t know whether they are going to encounter Dr. Jekyll or Mr. Hyde, or if there is a revolving door for leadership, then team members are not able to perform at their best. Remember, people work for their superiors, not the company.

Camaraderie must exist among team members – for most team members, their work is a meaningful part of their life. As such, team members often become extended family members. If someone is moving to the area to join your team, this extended family is even more important.

Candor – assume your team member wants to do the best job possible. Make sure he is aware of any areas that need improvement. Employee evaluations should never be a surprise. Discuss performance issues before they become a problem.

Confidentiality – if a team member comes to you to discuss a private issue, please keep the information shared confidential. If you want and expect your team members to be open and honest with you, they must be assured that anything they share with you will not be shared with others, even your most trusted confidant.

Career advancement – make sure your team member knows what opportunities exist and what is required of him to advance. Help your team member reach his full potential.

Challenging tasks – no one, not even an assembly-line worker, expects to be doing the same task forever. Unless otherwise stated, assume your team member wants to advance in his position. Offer opportunities for him to learn new skills.

Comfortable work environment – be sure the team member has everything he needs in order to do a good job. This includes a work space conducive to his required tasks, office supplies and equipment, appropriate temperature settings, and a hostile-free environment. Create a company in which you would want to work.

Commitment to his success – be clear that you are here to help your team member succeed. Be his coach, mentor and cheerleader. Allow him to fail with grace, and then help him learn from the experience.

Communication – good communication is imperative for a good working relationship. Offer regular opportunities for communication, such as designated one to one time each week.

If you are bringing someone on board as part of your succession plan, retention is imperative. Providing a work environment that allows for success is in your best interest.

For your business or succession plan to succeed, you must take exceedingly good care of your people. This is not a chore or an obligation; it is one of the most rewarding aspects of a business, yet it is an area in which many businesses, large and small, fail.

One of the best pearls of wisdom I’ve heard is this, “Treat your employees the way you want them to treat your best clients.” That is sound advice.

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