My wife and I are fans of the singing competition show called The Voice. It is a show on which competitors display their talent in hopes of being selected to participate in a competition in order to become “The Voice” at the end of the show. It is not unlike the selection process companies go through to find employees. There is one difference however, after selection for participation the contestants receive immediate coaching on how to get better.
Coach for improvement
Many employers would love to have employees improve their skills after hire. Unfortunately often employees are left to their own devices when it comes to improvement. They are taught just enough to do the job they were hired for and not much else. On the Voice, if you are selected you are on a team lead by a seasoned professional who provides coaching on how the singer can improve their singing and song presentation. The coach brings in another professional to add another opinion on what the singer can do to improve.
In this setting it is important to improve and to do so fast because it is a competition and lack of improvement means “termination” from the position. This is not dissimilar to a regular employment situation, just a more abbreviated timeframe.
In the several seasons I have been watching The Voice I have been amazed at how much improvement occurs when the contestants are provided with good coaching. The training provided teaches them new ways to sing, news to look at a song, and encouragement to stretch their abilities. Even if they are eventually knocked out of the competition they have learned valuable lessons that will enhance their self-esteem and eventually their careers. Wouldn’t it be ideal to do the same thing with new employees?
Don’t wait for your new employee to falter before spending some time with them to show them ways in which they can improve what they do. Start immediately after they are hired to show them what they need to do, how they need to do it, alternative ways of viewing the task and what good performance looks like.
I might also suggest you listen to them as they learn. While you are teaching them the way you suggest they do it, they may suggest an improvement that you had not thought of before.