An increasing number of young adults struggle when adjusting to new work environments. These 4 steps will help your new hires succeed.
The United Nations and the World Health Organization warn that emerging adults will suffer increasing mental health issues for the next 10 years. Adjusting HR practices will improve the onboarding of new hires.
Four important steps will help these new hires succeed in your organization: know your audience, reset expectations, deliver bite-sized instructions, and repeat often.
1. Know your audience
Employers have complained that over the last 20 years, new hires have worsened at adjusting to professional workplaces, showing difficulty engaging with colleagues, clients, and supervisors. The Coronavirus pandemic grossly accelerated this trend by increasing the percentage of youth and young adults experiencing mental health issues.
If you hire young adults, know that an increasing percentage of your candidates experience stress and depression, and that this trend will continue for a decade.
2. Reset expectations
Rather than seeking candidates with high achievements and accolades, we will do better to focus on those who have developed skills for adapting and learning.
Unlike achievements, skills are transferable, repeatable, and directly applicable to your organization. Skills reflect adaptability and the ability to learn, increasing a candidate’s likelihood of success. Skills indicate the ability to recreate success in a new environment.
3. Deliver bite-sized instructions
Clarify those basic assumptions you think needn’t be said; spell them out in small, simple steps.
Clearly stating expected behavior before its execution helps new hires focus their behavior. You are giving them two jobs: to make good introductions and to learn about the client. You did so by breaking those two jobs down into three simple actions:
For those already performing well, your primary objectives are clear. For those who need help executing this expected behavior, they have opportunity to perform. For new hires who simply cannot perform, they will still not perform. Thus, you are not propping up those who should not be in the role, you are simply helping those who can perform do so smoothly and quickly.
4. Repeat these instructions often
After the meeting, provide feedback on their efforts. Affirming what you liked always helps. Avoid negative feedback unless something must be addressed.
For future meetings, provide quick reminders and then shift to having the new hire present to you their meeting goals. These repetitions will train them to self-manage their preparation.
Health experts warn us that for several years coming, emerging adults will struggle adjusting to new environments. Modifying onboarding will increase success:
When executed well, onboarding will bring out the best in our emerging adults, helping them contribute in unique and masterful ways.