You have just recruited a new employee in your sales team. His/her skills have convinced you. Perfect! It remains to be seen whether s/he will fit into the group and find his/her place. Here are some practical tips to foster the integration of an employee and to detect problems quickly.
1/ Prepare his/her welcome
The first day of an employee is decisive and consists of inevitable phases: introducing the departments, especially those with which s/he will work regularly and visiting the premises. The new recruit will discover many faces and assimilate a lot of information in one day. Preserve his/her motivation by not overwhelming him/her and be sure to prepare the teams in advance.
You can offer a welcome booklet with the organisation chart and practical information on operation of equipment (software, photocopiers, vehicles). Hard copies are reassuring.
The purpose of the integration process is to help the recruit understand as quickly as possible the operation of the company and his/her place in the organisation.
You must create connections quickly and anticipate difficulties. Establish follow-up to know whether the integration is going well, provide guidance and check the level of understanding of the recruit.
It is essential to schedule regular meetings with the manager at the beginning of the collaboration (for instance, once a week) in order to make a review and to question the new salesperson.
2/ Think of integration tools
– Mentoring is an excellent way to quickly integrate a new recruit with immediate feedback from the mentor. In the presence of the mentor, the recruit will feel at ease, will dare to ask questions and will feel safe. Mentoring has two major advantages: speeds up the learning process and values the mentor. Thus, you may benefit from integration of a new member to test an employee and consider him/her for a shift to a managerial role.
– Informal meetings are also efficient in integrating a new employee and seeing if s/he is on the same page with the team. Encourage the new recruit to have lunch with his/her co-workers. Avoid bringing his/her manager to these meetings in order to keep a more relaxed atmosphere. The idea is to strengthen the feeling of security of the new recruit and to stimulate his/her capacity to find his/her place within the team.
3/ Prepare assessment tools
There are other tools to check the level of understanding of a new employee and his/her involvement in the company.
For instance, you can ask the new recruit, after one or two months, to write a report on his/her impressions. This report will allow you to know how s/he sees the company, whether s/he has suggestions, remarks, questions … etc.
After 3 months, you can ask him/her to draft a short review on the sector: what s/he has noticed, if s/he understood who his/her customers are, how they work and how s/he can get to them.
Anyway, do not expect to get suggestions that will revolutionise your company (although it may actually happen!); still, you will have the possibility to measure the level of information of the recruit and his degree of involvement in his/her new job.
4/ Be careful
A new employee who never asks questions and who thinks that everything is fine all the time must alert your vigilance. Such attitude is a very bad sign: either s/he is not involved at all (maybe found another opportunity?) or s/he does not understand a thing … Unfortunately, in both cases, you may as well start to organise a new recruitment!
However, if the recruitment was rigorous, such cases should be exceptional. In the selection phase, any sign of doubt should make you decide to eliminate the applicant. A situation difficult to understand by the latter, but vital for the company. You will thus avoid unpleasant surprises …