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Don’t fall on the Crystal Ball #1 – New Employees

Isn’t it amazing how many business leaders appear to rely on their people having crystal balls? 

“Surely they know what to do?!” they say or, “They should know what to do” 

The terrible twins! – Should and Shirley (something for Airplane film fans!) 

Here’s what I mean… 

Picture the scene…Your new hire has made it to the end of their probationary period and their manager has decided they’re not right.  Of course you have the right to dismiss them but their manager… 

hasn’t set any objectives &/or didn’t set SMART objectives. 

hasn’t given them a clear onboarding programme for them to get up to speed, learn the ways of the business, the people to go to for help and how to get the job done ‘The Company way’. 

hasn’t fed back to them about their performance during their probation. 

hasn’t had effective 1 to 1s with them.

So for the poor ‘failing’ employee the first they’ve heard that they haven’t been doing their job right is when they hear “You’ve failed your probation and we’re letting you go”…What the…? 

What’s especially disappointing is that many managers were never properly told that these things needed to be done, let along how to do them well. 

Managers are expected to read a crystal ball to know how to do their job…

…so new employees are expected to read a crystal ball to know how to do theirs. 

It sounds ridiculous, right?  If someone isn’t doing their job correctly, isn’t performing as hoped, surely their manager would have raised it with them already?  Surely their manager made clear to them at the start the specifics of the role, what was expected of them and made sure they had the means to deliver? 

Surely! – Yet this seems to happen only in a minority of cases according to the experiences of our Secret HR Diarist and numerous studies by Management Institutions around the world.  The lack of communication happens more often than people choose to believe. 

There’s really no excuse – The Brilliant Basics are easy to understand and easy to do…when people know how.  It’s the responsibility of Business Leaders to put the measures in place.  And the productivity benefits are significant. 

Performance management and regular contact about an employee’s work are prime opportunities to ensure a person is doing their job right / effectively / delivering value. Without them, neither manager nor employee can know that things are working as they should. 

HR can help with this and so, too, can some inexpensive technology, easily used and accessible to all. 

New Employees need direction & nurturing to enable them to be the best they can be for themselves and their new employer whilst accepting that everyone works in different ways and there will always be some adjustment.  Both employee and employer need a full ‘try before you fully buy’ period which is why probationary periods exists, so helping new employees show what they’re capable of is in everyone’s interests.  It will reduce misunderstandings, defuse conflicts and even avoid employment tribunals and unnecessary ‘pay offs’ / settlements. 

What are your views on the Brilliant Basics for new employees? 

Follow us on LinkedIn or our Blogs or get in touch if you’d like to talk more about these, and how simple but sophisticated technology can enrich the work experience for Candidates, Onboardees, Employees, Managers, HR Professionals and Business Leaders. 


James Bennett is Chief Revenue Officer for iXerv Global has worked in HR and HR systems technology for over three decades in various sectors.  He is based in the UK

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iXerv is dedicated to supporting progressive businesses with leaders who are committed to their People as a path to achieve consolidation, transformation and growth. iXerv helps you create the best experience for your employees and the means to acquire, develop, manage and reward in the way that gives you competitive edge.

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