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When to take off the training wheels!

They’ve been on the job for weeks now. They’ve been through orientation, completed all the required training and are doing really well. Yet you’re still overseeing, double-checking and signing-off on everything they do. Your employees are succeeding, but is it because they are being micromanaged?

Your new hires need adequate training and direction. However, spoon-feeding for too long can stifle growth and make them question your faith in their abilities. So, when is the right time to “take off the training wheels” and let your fledgling new hire begin blazing his own path?

Assess their current performance:

When you examine their work, are you still finding “rookie mistakes” or is there a demonstration of mastery in their core job responsibilities? Balance your assessment with feedback from  peers and team members to make your decision. If they seem to have a solid understanding;

Try a simple test:

Give your new employees a small, discrete task (with concrete deadlines and clearly defined deliverables) to complete without your supervision. Make sure the task requires a bit of planning, as well as interaction with other employees. Then step away and let them tackle it. Once the test is done;

Examine the results:

Take note of whether the employees:

  • Delivered on time
  • Succeeded in the task (if not, where did they fall short)
  • Worked appropriately with other employees
  • Seemed confident and comfortable with the assignmentProvide feedback:

    If they sailed through the test with flying colors, take off those training wheels, and start giving your new employees greater responsibility and more freedom. If they failed to meet your expectations, discuss why and how this happened:

  • Did they misunderstand the task?
  • Did they lack the resources or support needed to complete it?
  • Were they overwhelmed by the responsibility?
  • Do they need more training?Determine the reasons your new hires missed the mark, and create a short-term plan for improving the results they deliver.

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