How long does it take a new hire to be fully productive?

According to an article in Training Industry Quarterly, it takes at least 1 to 2 years before a new hire becomes “fully productive”. This means that you have to wait for a whole year or two for your new hire to reach the same level of productivity as your existing employees.  

Can you afford that? Sure you can’t! Luckily, there are a few proven strategies that can help you reduce your new hire’s ramp up time. In this article, you’ll learn 5 effective ways to get your new hire up to speed faster.

5 tips for making your new hires more productive

Here are 5 easy to implement, but highly effective tips that will help you make your new hire more productive faster:

Tip #1: Hire the right people

The key to ensuring that your new hire is highly productive is hiring the right person to begin with. If your new hire doesn’t have the right skillset and attitude, it will be very hard for you to make them productive, especially in a short period of time.

A big part of hiring the right person is defining your candidate persona. A candidate persona is a semi fictional representation of your ideal candidate. Imagine a perfect person for the job you're looking to fill. Think beyond the basic characteristics such as skills, knowledge and experience. Include other characteristics such as this person’s interest, motivation, hobbies, career goals, etc.

Defining your candidate persona will help you hire the right person, not only for the job, but also for your company culture. A highly productive, top performer in one company won’t necessarily be as successful in another company. This is why you should always ask cultural fit questions in your job interview with candidates.

Tip #2: Clearly define expectations

It’s impossible for your new hires to succeed in their new role if they don’t have a clear, tangible idea of what is expected of them. By providing clear instructions and guidelines at the start, you will help your new hires to excel in their new position quickly.

Most companies go over a new hire’s job description on their first day at the job. However, is not enough for new hires to understand exactly what is expected for them. Instead of giving your new hires a vague, general job description, make a list of the specific activities, projects, and tasks that they will be expected to participate in.

The crucial part is to provide a clear explanation of their role is these activities and projects. Are they expected to initiate, plan, lead or coordinate a certain program? Or will they receive their tasks form a team or a project leader? Make it clear from the start.

Finally, explain exactly how your new hire’s performance will be evaluated. Make sure that all your new hire’s goals are realistic, attainable and measurable for the time and activity. Have the key performance indicators clearly defined and presented in a form of precise metrics.

Tip #3: Implement a buddy program

Human Capital Institute’s research has found that 87% of organizations say that a buddy program is an effective way to speed up new hire proficiency. Best part? A buddy program is fairly easy to implement - and it’s completely free!

The concept of a buddy program is simple - assign a seasoned employee to act as a work buddy for your new hire. The role of the buddy is to act as a friendly face available show the new hire around and answer all his/hers questions.

However, don’t rely on your new hires to reach out to their buddies every time they have a question or need help. Instead, make sure that your new hire and their buddy schedule a regular time to meet. Depending on your company culture, it can be a formal office meeting or a friendly lunch out.

Microsoft found that the more the buddy met with the new hires, the greater the new hire’s productivity. 56% of new hires who met with their buddy once in their first 90 days indicated that their buddy helped them to quickly become productive in their role. That percentage increased to 97% for those who met more than eight times in their first 90 days.

Tip #4: Monitor their work

The only way to improve your new hire’s productivity is to analyze their current way of working. By monitoring their everyday work, you will be able to find bottlenecks and recognize areas for improvement.

Of course, it is impossible to watch your new hires every minute of the day. Luckily, there’s an app for that. :) Employee monitoring software such as Workplus will show you exactly how your new hires use their time. You’ll get detailed and precise information about app and website usage and your new hire’s overall productivity.

That way, you can easily analyze your new hire’s productivity, effectiveness and focus. Use this insight to provide feedback to your new hires. Just make sure that you focus on developing your new hires, rather than evaluating them!

Provide coaching for your employees and help them optimize their workday for maximum efficiency. You should also share your tips for regaining focus and maximizing productivity.

Tip #5: Ask for feedback

Finally, the best to find out how you can make your new hires more productive is to simply ask them. There are many different ways to do that. The approach you choose will depend on your company culture.

For example, if your organization is a small startup that practices radical candor, a good idea is to set up a weekly or monthly check in meetings with your new hires. In these meetings, you can ask your new hire to speak honestly about their needs.

On the other hand, if your company has a strong, hierarchical, corporate culture, a direct face to face meeting might not be appropriate. Your new hires might be more comfortable by taking an anonymous online survey.

Either way, make sure to emphasize that you’re asking for honest feedback. Explain that you need your new hires’ honest opinion in order to improve your company’s onboarding and training process and help your new hires get up to speed faster.

Wrap up: Boost your new hire’s productivity today!

You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars to speed up the ramp-up time for your new hires.

All you need to do is to put in some time and effort in implementing the tips outlined above. Start today you’ll begin to see your new hires’ productivity immediately!

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