Throw ‘em into the Lion’s Den or Coddle Them?

The age-old debate about onboarding new or newly transitioned employees. Is the sink or swim method best, or should you hold their hand through the learning process? We aren’t all natural-born leaders and we don’t always know which route, or combination thereof to take when it comes to training. The end goal is to build a productive, cohesive and engaged team. So what training and management methods will get you there?

Throw ‘em into the Lion’s Den or Coddle Them?

While there is no secret recipe, there are some tried and true practices for getting your new team members where they need to be in a timely manner.


Pardon our language but we love this phrase, “Google That Stuff”. We all have those people in our lives, the ones who constantly ask us questions that they could surely Google. This happens a lot in the workplace. Instead of learning lessons for themselves, employees will hop over to someone else’s desk and use up their time to explain or teach them something. It goes without saying that mentorship and proper training should be made available to new recruits, but it is often unclear where to draw the line.
When someone needs help, a lot of us have the tendency to jump right in to the rescue. This knee-jerk reaction can actually end up inhibiting the self-sufficiency of those around us. Don’t be afraid to say, “Google That Stuff”.

Make Expectations Clear

A major onboarding and training problem that can lead to delayed productivity is when management is unclear about their expectations. There is a big difference between holding their hand through the onboarding process and leading them through the onboarding process. Chucking a handbook and a training log in at them does not a happy new employee make. There should be a clear and defined onboarding and training strategy of which the manager should be a major part.

Being New is no Excuse for Subpar Work

63% of bad hires can be attributed to the employees failure to produce the proper quality of work. Yes, there will be a learning curve and adjustment period. A couple of other leading factors of the common bad hire are failure to meet deadlines and immediate attendance problems. These are all vital areas in which to set the bar high. It is because they’re new that they should try harder, never be late and turn things in early incase there is more work to be done. Being new shouldn’t be framed as an excuse, it should be presented as a driving factor.
With most anything, a good balance is needed in the onboarding process. Making sure that employees can stand on their own two feet, while facilitating growth and engagement means knowing when to step in and when to step back.