Difficult Conversations With New Hires

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You and your fellow managers are excited about your new hire. You managed to scoop her up just as she became available, frustrating countless competitors. And while you made the most generous offer you could afford, you were still relieved when she accepted. She won over her coworkers on her first day, and by the end of the week she was already attracting the attention of upper management.

But at this point, a few months have gone by and things have changed. Review time is just around the corner and it looks like you’ll have to prepare for a difficult conversation. While she’s clearly brilliant, the new employee doesn’t seem very motivated to impress you. She shows up late, is often distracted, and sometimes doesn’t contribute much during meetings.

What will this mean for her review? How can you use the review session to start getting more out of this potentially valuable asset? Here are few things to take into consideration when planning a difficult conversation with a new hire.

Reviewing a Talented But Unhappy Employee

1. Ask her directly if she’s having any specific problems. If she accepted the salary offer in haste and is now repenting at leisure, find out. If she’s not getting the resources and support she needs, you should know. Make sure your questions sound supportive, not accusatory.

2. Tell her exactly how you feel about her performance, but be diplomatic. And be clear about what you expected when you took her on. She should know that you’re still looking for way to make the relationship work.

3. At the same time, make it clear that her productivity will need to change. And start keeping meticulous records on all of her performance metrics, since these records may be required in the event of a dispute. Talent management software suites, like emPerform, can help you track performance across a wide range of metrics and time frames.

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