Starting a new job is always nerve-wracking but as an employer, you can make the transition and training period empowering + welcoming for your staff. In addition to introducing a new hire to the other members of the household and setting up training conversations, activities on the first day should include knocking out some basic responsibilities. For most folks on their first day at a new job, getting into the daily routine immediately provides a reassuring feeling of contribution from the start. Find a few easy projects that they can work on right away, then begin the formal training!
Day One With Your New Staff Member
- Identify your communication style preferences to confirm the most effective way to offer/receive information with members of the household.
- Always try to begin and end each day with a face-to-face meeting with each staff member if at all possible.
- Have the new hire sign and date all of the necessary new hire documents, (household manual, W2, I-9, employment contract, etc.), and confirm that they have read and understood everything. Make copies of all documents and give copies to the new hire and file the originals.
- Answer any questions that the new hire may have, and work to make them comfortable so that they are upfront about any confusion they may have moving forward.
- Arrange introductions with all of the other members of the household. Introductions should include everyone the new hire will need to work with to be successful like family members, other staff members, and vendors/contractors.
- Send an email to all of your staff and regular vendors announcing the new hire’s arrival, and copy the new hire on the email.
- Review technology, apps, tools, supplies, and equipment that the employee will use to successfully carry out their responsibilities. Conduct a walkthrough of the entire property explaining key aspects of the household manual in context.
- Communicate basic information about the home and surrounding area, relationships with neighbors, community guidelines, local laws, etc.
- Review the list of routine tasks and small projects planned for the first week. Support these tasks with focused training to ensure success.
Plan For Success
- Touching base with your staff each day is a great way to provide support, and to help identify and resolve any issues/challenges and increase the potential for excellent long-term performance.
- Organize time for every aspect of training to ensure that the employee adopts the necessary techniques for certain tasks (e.g. expense reporting, serving, ironing, cooking, cleaning, bottle feeding, naptime) that are consistent with the household standards.
- Check in with the new hires as they complete training projects to make sure they feel confident and able to accomplish the tasks without support.
- If you plan to be out of the home and predominantly unavailable, set the new hire up with a mentor or key person in the household that they can contact regularly with any questions as they acclimate to the home.
- Explore additional professional development and skill-building opportunities that are specific to the position to lay out a plan for future growth.
- Establish specific and measurable goals for the employee, then set a date for a formal review. Let your staff know that you’ll have them review their own performance as well so that their development is a collaborative process.
- It’s important to give new staff members a combination of less intensive projects to start, and then gradually integrate larger projects as they progress through their training.
- Continue to check in with them directly or with their appointed mentor to track their progress and ensure that they have all of the tools and resources necessary to do a great job.
Set A Plan For Future Growth
- Organize a sit-down meeting after the initial tasks and training have been completed, (4-8 weeks after their first day), to go over their confidence level and gauge their fit with the household. If challenges emerge, work quickly to address them in a timely and open manner.
- It is vital that both parties have a clear understanding of how the performance will be formally evaluated. Be sure to set a date for the one-year review and prepare the employee for what that review will look like. What goals will be measured and the outcome of meeting or exceeding those goals? Is there a bonus structure? Will there be consequences for missed opportunities?
Review Training Program
- Discuss continued training opportunities with the new hire. What training has been helpful? Is any additional training needed, or are they feeling confident and supported in their role?
- Assess if the new hire is getting the right level of support from colleagues.
- How can you support the new hires throughout their training going forward?
Offer Continued Resources
- Does the new hire need additional cross-training with other staff?
- Make sure the new hire is afforded the time to read the entire household manual.
- Ensure that the new hire has access and time to read all user manuals for products and tools relevant to their new role.
- Offer suggestions for books, blogs, websites, and professional training programs that may aid in their success.
- Identify workshops and retreats that could provide professional community, growth, and mentorship opportunities for your new staff member.
One Year Check-In
- Celebrate the year of success by recognizing the employee’s growth and contributions. Offering a congratulatory note from you and a small gift is a lovely way to thank them for their dedication and hard work.
- After thanking them, begin the formal review process by presenting your perspective on their successes and areas for growth. Be sure to allow time for the employee to also share their perspective on their performance.
- Carefully review, clarify, and document future goals and review all the job expectations.
Conducting A Review
- Schedule a formal feedback discussion to include the staff member’s own review of their performance.
- Arrive prepared with a written description of your thoughts, and each of the specific goals laid out upon hiring.
- Review the goals agreed upon at hiring, and communicate successes and areas of opportunity for growth.
- Work collaboratively to develop clear, measurable goals for the next review period, and set a date for the next review.
- Assess if the new hire is getting the right level of support from colleagues.
- How can you support the staff member going forward?
Clarify The Role + How You Can Help
- Is the job what was expected?
- Are they running into any hindrances in their productivity?
- How can you better support their ongoing development?
- Could additional training be helpful?
- Consider asking questions related to their training process.
- Do they have any suggestions for improving the training?
- How can you better support the training process for new hires?
After the first year of employment, both you and your staff member should be feeling confident and satisfied with the status quo, while excited about the potential for future growth. Make yourself available to your staff in whatever way works best for you, (email, apps, calendar notes, etc. ), so that they can approach you with their ideas, concerns, and even offer feedback. A well-run household is often the collaborative effort of multiple personalities, so communicating clearly, remaining open to new ideas, and setting clear expectations and goals will ensure that each individual feels valued and supported. When your home is managed and your staff is able to do their best job, your life runs smoothly and you’re able to enjoy the priceless moments that make it all worthwhile.
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