May 27, 2015

3 Keys to Setting Performance Standards for New Hires

Orientation, onboarding, and the first day on the job… the cultural immersion and familiarization with the company and position are important, but what about the performance standards? All essential information is provided in these first few days on the job, but maintaining that standard of performance for new hires while they are still learning can be a challenge for some managers. However, with a mixture of formal and informal training with precise work, ensuring these new hires have a deep understanding of what they are expected to do won’t be so difficult.


On-the-job and Formal Training

Many employees learn best by doing, so putting the new hires on the front line (with some guidance of course) not only gets them familiar with the work, but also get them accustomed to standards. In fact, 76% of new hires want on-the-job training and rate it as most important during their first week. [1]

When combined with on-the-job training, formal training provides a good backbone for the new hires. This is the perfect opportunity to set performance standards because you have a large number of employees learning at the same time. So, if you have all of your new hires in the same formal training session, they will all have the same understanding of company standards.

Enhance Performance with Coaching

After you’ve trained your managers in coaching techniques (preferably before onboarding new employees), they can help your new hires make their way through the company jungle. If a manager can increase performance levels with coaching strategies, why not start off with coaching? Coaching is, in an organizational sense, a collaborative, ongoing process that is intended to develop employees over time. [2] So while it is a good stepping stone, it’s not necessarily a tactic that can be used alone to set performance standards; alone, it is effective as a means to maintain performance standards across the board.

Assign Meaningful Work

These tasks don’t have to be the most innovative projects the organization has put out all year, but they do need to mean something. Whether that’s giving them an assignment that forces the new employee to learn a new task or putting them in a meeting and ask them to just listen. Either way they will learn something about how the company works and the deadlines they need to hit.

This gives the new hire a true chance to immerse themselves in the work and what it means to work with your organization. Ian Aronovich, CEO of, said:

“You need to see how much of an independent workload your incoming workers can handle. The first couple of weeks that a worker is at our office is going to be their biggest test. Once they have proven themselves to be a person who can multi-task and manage everything that is thrown at them, we give them an incentive plan.” [3]

Setting performance standards for new hires isn’t always easy. They are new to the company and the position, so there’s a lot to learn from the very first day. But if you combine on-the-job and formal training, they’ll have a greater understanding of what is expected of them in all aspects. As performance management evolves, there’s a greater desire for coaching, and that is perfect for your new hires. It gives them a chance to talk with their supervisors on an informal level so they can learn immediate performance standards. Managers can then assign meaningful work that gets them in the trenches with multitudes of learning opportunities.

Download: Automated Performance Reviews Work Better

[1] – BambooHR – Onboarding Infographic
[2] – TLNT – How to Achieve Real Performance Improvement Without Going to a PIP
[3] – Mashable – How To Set Performance Standards for Your Startup’s New Hires

Explore More:

May 19, 2015

7 Tips for the Best Performance Appraisal Ever

Performance reviews aren’t always an easily mastered task. Even though they take a little bit of practice, managers can take some preemptive steps to make sure they start on the right foot. For the novice managers new to conducting performance reviews or the organization ready to take a step in the right direction to rejuvenating their current performance management system, here are a few tips to help get you started on the right track.

Best-Performance-Appraisal-Ever Continue reading 7 Tips for the Best Performance Appraisal Ever

May 12, 2015

The Changing Roles in Performance Management

Mother knows best. Or at least, that’s what we’ve been told. Mom (or dad) taught you how to do the laundry, make dinner and be a good person. Well, performance management is similar. Performance management has evolved into a coaching apparatus more than a means to reprimand poor work performance. While reviews and improvement plans remain, performance management has helped many employees become better in their areas of strength instead of managing them out of the company. In short, we’re getting better at this! But with that change comes a different set of responsibilities for the managers, employees and even organizational leaders.


Managers become Mentors

Antiquated performance management styles had managers represented as the big bad wolves of the office with constant oversight, conflict avoidance and annual appraisals which felt like giant exams. The good news is, performance management isn’t the same as it used to be. It’s growing away from what 58% of companies agree is a waste of time. [1] Managers are encouraged to coach their employees rather than reprimand to improve and prevent performance problems. Continue reading The Changing Roles in Performance Management

May 5, 2015

How Deloitte is Redesigning Performance Management

“[Redesigned performance management processes] shift the focus away from forced-distribution rankings and much more toward helping managers coach people to succeed. By changing this one HR ‘ingredient,’ it is possible to affect many others.” – David Parent, Nathan Sloan, Akio Tsuchida, Deloitte [1]


The performance management of your parents doesn’t work anymore. Changes in the structure of leadership and the influx of varying workforce generations don’t function the same way as they did 50 years ago. What used to be a system of reactive processes to address problems and employee concerns after it was too late, is beginning to develop into a forward-facing, proactive talent entity. Deloitte recognized the need for change and has initiated the redesign of traditional performance management to match the needs of the modern workplace. With the new age of organizational development, best practices have changed.

Continue reading How Deloitte is Redesigning Performance Management

April 28, 2015

Building an Employee Review Process to Fit Your Company’s Culture

Employee reviews are rarely easy for the employee receiving the review or the person delivering one. Receiving a less than perfect evaluation, even when it’s presented in the form of constructive criticism, can trigger feelings of inadequacy—we’re human, after all.

Compounding the problem is the way employers frequently deliver reviews, relying on a generic, one-size-fits-all evaluation approach. This benefits neither the employee nor the employer.

Developing an employee review process that fits your company’s culture is essential, and we’ll highlight steps for doing just that. First, let’s talk about why performance reviews are important in the first place. 

Employee Review Process Continue reading Building an Employee Review Process to Fit Your Company’s Culture

April 22, 2015

How Does Employee Engagement Affect Performance?

Are happy employees engaged employees? Truthfully, it doesn’t matter (to performance) if your team is happy or not. It is important to have happy employees; denying them so could easily result in a change in employer. When the workday comes to a close, however, what drives business growth? Some companies have taken a high interest in prioritizing the engagement levels of their team in order to drive performance demands. Here are a few ways employee engagement affects performance. Continue reading How Does Employee Engagement Affect Performance?

April 14, 2015

Do Your Employees Have a Case of the Quits?

Even the best of the best and the high performing employees are subject to the hazards of the workplace that can lead them towards another employer. Those hazards? Disengagement, poor communication and a lack of goal alignment can drive employees to find another company who will provide solutions to these problems. There are common causes of the “quits” and some recurrent behavior of those team members who are on the verge of giving you their two weeks’ notice. Don’t worry… there is a solution. Continue reading Do Your Employees Have a Case of the Quits?

April 8, 2015

6 Surefire Ways to Conduct the Worst Performance Appraisal Ever

Everyone makes mistakes, including during performance reviews. Despite the fact they are supposed to help solve issues in the workplace, individually and team-oriented on a grander scale, managers sometimes make these 6 mistakes during the appraisal.

Unfortunately, these erroneous habits can make for the worst performance appraisal ever. Don’t worry though, there is a bright side… we’ve given you ways to correct these blunders and turn them into your own performance appraisal best practices. Continue reading 6 Surefire Ways to Conduct the Worst Performance Appraisal Ever

March 24, 2015

How to Improve Employee Performance in 4 Steps

The performance appraisal. Love it? Hate it? Honestly, when it comes to employee performance there really isn’t any other way to improve the quality of their work. However,there are ways to botch the process if you don’t conduct these vital performance methods correctly. Whether your organization likes formal performance appraisals or prefers a casual, real-time approach, there are ways to make sure your team gets the most out of your feedback. Thorough communication and preparation lay the groundwork to improve employee performance. Here are four ways to get started: Continue reading How to Improve Employee Performance in 4 Steps