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Ask Linda: Getting New Hires Up To Speed

Linda the Lab Manager offers suggestions for getting new hires up to speed quickly and keeping them motivated

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QUESTION

Dear Linda,

I am the managing director of a lab that specializes in food analysis. A number of recent university graduates entering our workforce are poorly prepared and even less motivated. There is also a fair amount of staff turnover within the first two years of hire because new recruits, many of whom are just exploring, typically use this period to decide whether they have chosen the right field.

Any suggestions for getting these new hires up to speed quickly and keeping them motivated?

Thanks.

Martin

ANSWER

Dear Martin,

This is a problem that many lab managers face and the solution to which is not always straightforward. But I would begin by developing a good mentoring program. Match new hires with mentors who:

  • Are subject matter experts in their given areas.
  • Have strong people skills and are willing to provide constructive criticism and guidance.
  • Understand how to motivate people, get to know their shortcomings, and help them with solutions.
  • Will perform regular performance reviews in which there are mutually defined goals and open communication.
  • Can help promote and encourage new hires’ professional development.

Cheers,

Linda


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