How to reduce the time taken to get new employees performing at their peak
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How to reduce the time taken to get new employees performing at their peak

Onboarding Software

How to reduce the time taken to get new employees performing at their peak

April 13, 2016 Mike Erlin

When it comes time to bring on a new employee, it can be a mixture of excitement and trepidation for business owners. The addition of a new face, skill set and perspective is exciting but it’s the unknown variables that can be a cause for concern.

As much as you can quiz and test new hires in the recruitment process, it can still be difficult to know exactly how they will perform in their role.  The time to productivity is a measure of the amount of time it takes to onboard a new hire and turn them into a productive employee. With productivity now seen as being the key to helping businesses improve efficiency and their bottom line, reducing the time taken to get new employees performing at their peak is essential to enhancing performance.

But there’s not a simple time-to-productivity fix to implement, because it won’t happen immediately. You need a process and a strategy to ensure employees reach that productivity target.  Facilitating more effective onboarding, sooner, will arm new hires for success faster.

Companies can expect to lose between 1% and 2.5% of total revenue, due to lost productivity related to getting new hires up to speed and trained.[i]

  • Goal setting

Help new hires set clear goals from day one to help improve employee performance. Work with them to align these goals with department and company goals so they, and their colleagues, know from the start what they are supposed to work on, how their work fits into company objectives and that what they do is important.

Employees who set their own goals boast a 37% higher performance margin compared to employees who were assigned goals.[ii]

  • Onboarding processes

Introducing an effective onboarding programme is the most crucial step to take, to speed up the new hire productivity process. Your programme should be focused on arming the newest members of your team with the necessary skills and information, related to things such as their job roles, company personnel, culture and direction, to set a solid foundation on which to build their expertise.

It’s important that you don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to your onboarding because different employees will learn in different ways. Working with your new hire to determine how they learn and then tailoring the programme to reflect this will not only get them engaged earlier but also ensure ongoing training is delivered in this way as well.  

60% of companies connected effective onboarding with reduced time to productivity.[iii]

  • Check-in as they progress

It’s important to continually check-in with new employees as they travel that journey to peak productivity, not just set them on their way and hope for the best. Using performance management software helps managers recognise any potential issues from your point of view and also gives you a valuable perspective on your company’s training and approaches.

But don’t just set these progress catch-ups yourself. Let them choose times they would like to discuss their progress to empower them to take control of how they are tracking.

More frequent feedback correlates with higher engagement: 43% of highly engaged employees received feedback at least once a week, compared to only 18% of employees with low engagement.[iv]

  • Once they reach peak productivity, keep the momentum going

As your employees reach their targets, embolden them to set their next benchmarks to keep on progressing and further boosting their contribution to the company.

Ongoing development is linked with increases in net sales and gross profits per employee.[v]

Improving time to productivity will set your employees up to perform at their best for your business. To keep them doing this you’ll need to effectively engage them as they work.

Find out how you can make sure this strong start doesn’t fade by downloading our ebook Shifting the Employee Productivity Curve with Smart Talent Management Strategies.

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[i] article/getting-new-hires-up-to-speed-quickly/

[ii] HRE/view/story.jhtml?id=534355694

[iii] onboarding%20epg-%20final.pdf

[iv] http://www.

[v] http://www.


About Mike Erlin

A San Francisco native, Mike first came to Australia in 1986, returning with his Australian family to permanently reside in Sydney in 2005. Over the course of the past 25 years, ‘shared-technology’ solutions have underscored his career. In the late 90... more


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