When you have a new hire on an ongoing project the basic factor that needs to be kept in mind is compassion. The person is stepping into an unacquainted environment with people who are acquainted with each other.
Therefore, treating the person with kindness should be the basic ground rule for all team members. As a project manager, one has to shoulder quite a lot of responsibilities. On top of that, when a new hire joins your team, you have to put in extra effort to facilitate the onboarding process. It becomes your responsibility to introduce the new member to the team in a way that everyone soon gets acquainted with and can keep the work rolling with the same vivacity. For every project there needs to be a strong plan charted out before any new employee joins in. For this, the team manager needs to be well aware of the skills and specialties of the one joining in. This way the manager can prepare his next plans and make the most of the time and help the project to grow efficiently.
Let us delve deeper into some of the aspects of employee training in an ongoing project.
Familiarize the Culture
Even before you start training your employee on the work front, get him/her acquainted with the culture and environment of the organization. Every organization has a different set of ground rules and exclusive ways of operating.
Understanding the eccentricity of the group one would be working with is the most important aspect that needs to be taken care of. The basic role of familiarizing a new employee with the culture of a place depends on everyone in the team.
It is the duty of an entire team to make a new teammate feel comfortable, and at par with the rest of the team. This is the groundwork that can initiate the learning and training procedure for a new employee.
For any project manager, it is important to let a new employee gel up and get the space to be known to others. Even before one steps into the office, an introduction program with the whole team, a tour of the office premises, and having the person in question in some conversations can help you make your new teammate feel free to right from the beginning.
This can make it easier for both the newcomer as well as the existing employees to get adjusted in the presence of each other. This will additionally make it easier for both parties to approach each other for any query, which would eventually save the workflow of your project from getting disrupted.
The Trainer’s Aspects
When you are hiring a new employee, the most important aspect to keep in mind is who will provide the training. In case of an ongoing project, you already have a project manager appointed who is well acquainted with all the different functioning areas. However, it is never possible for a single project manager to train a newly added member in any field.
For this reason, the project manager is required to delegate the job of training to the ones who work in the respective fields with the newcomers and manage their progression with proper vigilance. A new employee shouldn’t have too many people instructing and involved in training. This can be overwhelming for the individual and confusing at the same time.
As a project manager, one should also pay attention to the schedule of the one who’s delivering the training to the new teammate. The procedure of training should not delay their own work or disrupt deadlines.
Another factor that needs to be regulated is that if an experienced employee is delivering the training to a newcomer, there shouldn’t be any defining hierarchical role in the process. The reporting person would not change or shift, however, the one providing the training can be a constant support and an approachable end for the new employee whenever he/she gets stuck with something.
Orientation and Visual Representation of the Work
An orientation program is a must whenever you hire a new employee. You can use various mediums to discuss and present your ideas. Here are some helpful tips to make your orientation more interesting and communicative:
- Video presentations: Making videos for an orientation program is one of the easiest ways to help your new teammate understand the procedures of work and get acquainted with the ways of your organization. Here you can also provide small briefings regarding each team member along with their faces so that the newcomer is able to recognize everyone.
- Quick question and answer session: A quick question and answer session with a new employee right after the orientation part can be extremely helpful. Here you can understand his/her personalized working procedures and tell them about your preferences. Having this discussion can help you understand the upcoming workflow as a project manager.
- Allocate a small assignment: After introducing your ideas and assessing the discourse with the newcomer, you can allocate them a small assignment. This may not add much to your ongoing project but will help you understand and estimate the quality and spontaneity of the person. It will also help the new employee to get a hold of the basics before he starts with the real work and get an idea about how everything works within the team.
Mobilize New Employees’ Existing Strengths
Every individual has some particular strength and vitality in the ways they work. This needs to be encashed to get the best results from a new addition to a team. You can achieve this by following some of the methods mentioned below:
- Let your new teammate work on varied fields for the first week. This will let you understand his best suit and help the project manager to direct his strengths in the right direction.
- Do not make a new employee simply assist other team members. This will restrict his abilities and can also be a huge demotivating factor. For many, this can make them feel that they can save their efforts as it won’t be used by the organization.
- Constant encouragement is a necessity. When you step into a new organization, being perplexed and overwhelmed is extremely common. Therefore the newcomer needs to be encouraged even for the small bits to make him feel free so that he can make his abilities and strengths shine.
The work doesn’t end with just delivering the training. Feedback from a new employee regarding the training procedure is extremely important. This feedback will help you organize and optimize the existing procedure further.
Sometimes a new employee may find it difficult to communicate complaints or honest feedback directly or through a procedural act. To avoid this, you can apply several innovative ideas to make an employee provide sincere feedback.
This feedback needs to be mandatory and you should ask the rest of the team to encourage the new employee to provide honest reviews. With a feedback system you can improve not only your organization’s working environment and procedures, but it also helps you understand the issues of the new employee better.
Sometimes, with unique feedback, you might come to know about the working capabilities or problems that the employee might face in the future within the team. This needs to be addressed and you can have a one on one session with the employee, addressing the issue in order to avoid any miscommunication in the future.
You can make forms that the newly trained employee can fill out or an MCQ type procedure that you can store as data. Here the employee can freely choose his answers and options without having to confront or provide any explanation for his evaluation.
This feedback is not supposed to be simply stored in one of your files. This needs to be implemented the next time you hire a new employee. If you realize you missed something in the last training that is important, you can always go back and correct the parts.
Another great way to get the best reviews from an onboarding employee is to take the feedback after a certain period of time. Once the employee works in your environment full-time, he/she will be able to provide better feedback.
Feedback should never be taken as criticism but as an insight to do better and optimize your resources and procedures.
Healthy Work Life Balance as a part of your Training
As you train your employee with the technicalities of a job, the aesthetic part still needs to be covered. Here, the knowledge of keeping a healthy work-life balance, and how to maintain peace and stability within a team needs to be addressed if not taught.
For a team that already has its members connected and working together, a new entry should not emerge as a disturbance. This needs to be made sure by the manager of the team. While you train your employee in the technical and work-related fields, you should also mention the importance for him to manage his own life outside the office and maintain steadiness within the team.
Effective communication and healthy office habits can complete your training and make a wholesome impact on the new employee. The entire team should be in charge of exhibiting these habits as well.
You can encourage weekly outings and family get-togethers as well. This will help your new employee gel up in a non corporate environment. It also helps the families of now joinees to understand the work and office environment of their loved ones. You can promote encouragement in several forms with these little efforts.
Project managers can also be advised to ask the new employees about their individual ideas regarding work life balance. This will give you broader and more unique ideas to improve the working conditions within a team and help everyone cope with the pressure.
Staying back beyond working hours, office politics, delayed submission of work and other habits need to be eliminated completely from each of the team members in order to set the ground for a healthy work-life balance for every one.
Talk to your new teammate about the coping mechanisms during extreme work pressure. This helps you get an idea of the amount of pressure the individual can handle and also decide upon the ways you can manage teamwork during busy times.
Summing it Up
The above-mentioned procedures, if followed/implemented earnestly, can give you a comprehensive understanding of how to train a new employee in an ongoing project. It will help you and your team to not just train but mold the newcomer and make him/her one of you. You will help the person to not just develop his skills, but also grow ethics and help the rest of the team as a competent colleague.
When you get a new teammate to aid your project, always remember your first day at work. In the case of an ongoing project, it may sometimes seem like a distraction and disruption from the workflow. But a new employee is always an added asset to the entire team. Team members need to be supportive and understanding in order to give their project a better shape with the help of their new teammate.
It might sometimes demand some considerable time from your work and slow down your own process. It is important to lend this time when someone new joins the team as it will help you in the future. With patience and kindness you can put the resource to best use.
However, the brighter side is that if you direct it well, your team will have an extra hand for support. Being patient and treating the newcomer with kindness/friendliness/fairness will give you the best benefit and help you work better as a team.
Sanket Shah is the Founder and CEO at InVideo who initiated this startup with the view of encouraging the creation and use of videos in all sectors of business as well as private lives. Sanket’s dedication has led InVideo to serve millions of users from 190 countries across the world. His continuous encouragement to all video users and desire to make video making and editing accessible to everyone has contributed largely to the video-making industry.
How to Train a New Employee in an Ongoing Project? /p>