Sabrina Starling PhD, PCC, BCC

Avoid These Costly Mistakes When Onboarding New Employees


Payroll is one of the biggest expenses in small business. Most small business owners are not getting their money’s worth from the investment they are making in employees. Taking steps to optimize employee performance directly impacts your profit.

Consider this… have you ever hired a new employee, had great hopes for how the employee would turn out, then a few short weeks later, been very disappointed in that employee’s performance?

It’s possible you made a hiring mistake. It’s also possible you got busy, the employee’s manager was busy, no one trained the manager in your process for onboarding new employees… and, well let’s face it, some important training and orientation to your business slipped through the cracks—all in an effort just to keep things moving and take care of customers.

This happens all too often in small businesses. Overworked small business owners hire a good employee, but unwittingly set that employee up to become a “warm body” collecting paychecks.

Here are 3 simple steps you can take right away to set your new employees up for success:

  • Define clear, measurable results that you expect from this role.
  • Define 30, 60 and 90-day goals for training. Be very specific in terms of the skills you expect the employee to demonstrate at each of these benchmarks.
  • Implement Weekly 1:1s. Schedule brief meetings each week with your new employee. Check in with respect to the employee’s progress toward the training goals. Identify wins and successes for the employee. Tell the employee what he or she is doing right and what you want to see more of! Ask about any challenges the employee is having. Identify aspects of the role the employee is struggling with. Ask the employee what support he or she needs from you to be successful.

Setting clear expectations when onboarding new employees, then following up with regular communication and feedback dramatically increases a good employee’s potential for long-term success with you.  

Article written by :
Sabrina Starling PhD, PCC, BCC
Dr. Sabrina Starling, The Business Psychologist™ and author of the How to Hire the Best series is the founder of Tap the Potential. Tap the Potential specializes in transforming small businesses into highly profitable, Great Places to Work! Never one to accept status quo or back down from a challenge, Dr. Sabrina’s How to Hire the Best series grew from her desire to solve the toughest hiring challenges interfering with her clients' growth and profitability. What sprang from her experience working with entrepreneurs in rural areas catapulted her into becoming the world's leading expert in attracting top talent in small businesses — no matter what hiring challenges those businesses are facing — and earned Tap the Potential’s reputation as the go-to resource for entrepreneurs committed to creating Great Places to Work with thriving coaching cultures and highly engaged team members working from strengths. With her background in psychology, and years of driving profit in small business, Dr. Starling knows what it takes to find, keep and get exceptional performance out of your biggest investment — your team members. Visit Dr. Sabrina and the Tap the Potential Family at While you’re there, be sure to check out all the great resources, including Dr. Sabrina’s most in-demand webinar, How to Make Your Time Worth 10K an Hour.
Related Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.