Help Employees Get A Productive Start

Use this 30-day checklist as a framework for onboarding success. ( Top Producer )

Use this 30-day checklist as a framework for onboarding success

Bringing new employees on board can be stressful for the new hire and the manager. Done right, it can lead to a productive, long-term relationship that’s good for both parties. Done wrong, it can result in frustration all around and a potentially expensive firing.

“The first 30 days of a new employee on the farm dictate what kind of employee he or she will be,” says Michelle Painchaud, president and CEO of the Painchaud Performance Group, a human-performance consulting firm. “When you onboard effectively, you’ll have a higher performing employee. More productive employees lead to more profitable businesses.” 

5 Times to Connect With New Employees

The First Hour of the First Day

Select a start date and time that doesn’t coincide with your regular work routine. “Your goal is to leave a positive impression,” says Trevina Broussard, a personnel consultant based in Houston, Texas. Then give the employee 45 minutes or so of your undivided time. Take your new employee on a tour of the entire business and introduce them to everyone, suggests Wesley Tucker, University of Missouri Extension agricultural business specialist.

End of the First Day

Ask these questions at the end of the first day:

  • Do you have any questions or concerns?
  • What did we do right? What could we improve?
  • Is this what your expected?  
  • What can we do to make this the best workplace?  

Show the new person you’re a caring boss, and you might even learn how to improve your farm. “Fresh eyes to your business are really valuable,” Painchaud says.

End of First Week

Check back after five or six days to assess the employee’s experiences, again asking questions to solicit feedback. The first week is crucial.

First Paycheck

Make a point to deliver the new hire’s first paycheck in person. This reinforces his or her importance to your operation. “It can also be used as a teachable moment if there are any red flags,” Broussard says.

End Of 30 Days

Be open and clear. Is this person going to work out? If you’ve done everything you can to help them succeed, the answer becomes easy. “The most expensive person you hire is the person you fire. So, fire fast if the employee is not working out,” Broussard says.


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