“Clarity comes with simplicity.”  – Brendon Burchard

I’ve recently read several articles about how confused employees are about their roles & responsibilities. As I read those articles, one thing came to my mind: organizations are losing money every day… lots of money! Just think about it, if your people don’t know what you expect them to do, how can they do it?

Leadership is responsible for ensuring people understand their roles & expectations, that’s a given (to an extent). However, if you are in a position where you are unsure of your roles & responsibilities, it’s your responsibility to speak up and ask your supervisor. If your supervisor doesn’t know, simply keep asking until somebody gives you clear answers. The worst thing you can do if you are unsure about your roles & responsibilities is to say nothing. Everyone shares a little of the responsibility of role clarity.

This is a serious challenge facing many organizations because it’s costing big-time money! Role clarity must be established on day one—no exceptions, no excuses! The following three simple tips will help supervisors ensure their people know their roles & responsibilities by the end of the first day… so they can start earning their pay!

1. Meet and Greet!

This is the responsibility of the immediate supervisor and should not be delegated. This initial ‘meet & greet’ is critical to establishing not only the roles, responsibilities & expectations but a professional relationship as well.

Be sure the supervisor is assigned to the new employee well before the new employee arrives. This gives the supervisor ample time to prepare and free up the schedule. Failure to prepare ahead of time gives the new employee a poor first impression of your organization. Take full advantage of the enthusiasm your new employee has about starting a new job—be ready and waiting for their arrival.

Eliminate all distractions—treat this initial meeting like an important business meeting, because it is! Introduce the new employee to a personalized detailed copy of the job description that includes all the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of the job. Additionally, include a detailed breakdown of the organization’s hierarchy with phone numbers, duty titles, and office numbers. You may want to consider including a detailed map of the building and local eateries, especially if they are new to the area.

Remember, the primary purpose of this ‘meet & greet’ is to cover all the roles, responsibilities, and expectations of the new employee, and to establish a professional relationship.

2. Guided Tour

Supervisors should make plans to be a tour guide for an hour or two during the new employee’s first day. This ‘tour guide’ is in addition to the ‘meet & greet’ described above, as it will involve walking around to introduce the new employee to co-workers, program-leads, IT team, and other key personnel. A great time to do this is in conjunction with lunch so you can relax and have a meal together; it’s a great idea to invite other members of the team.

As part of the ‘tour,’ the supervisor should ensure the new employee is fully equipped to perform his/her job. This may include getting them full access to computers, intranet, email, phone, IDs, etc. This ‘tour’ needs to be all-inclusive so the new employee feels armed & ready to conquer the job they were hired to perform. Don’t leave out any details.

3. Ask Questions; Answer Questions; Listen

By this point, many new employees will be a bit overwhelmed, and that’s ok. You may want to give them an hour or two to get situated by themselves; however, always be sure to follow-up before the day ends. Schedule 30 minutes at the end of the day to give them an opportunity to ask questions that may have come up. If you don’t know the question, find somebody who does; ensure the questions are answered before the new employee leaves.

Finally, the supervisor needs to listen. Make it a point to get the new employee talking during this 30-min meeting, even if it’s having them repeat back some of the roles & responsibilities covered earlier in the day. Most people need to talk about specific roles & responsibilities a couple of times before they completely understand them.

That’s it, their first day is complete, and they’re ready to roll! If you think this sounds a bit unrealistic, consider your alternatives. True, this plan requires supervisors to dedicate a few hours of their day solely on welcoming the new employee and covering the roles, responsibilities, and expectations. However, think of the immediate benefits you can receive. You will have a brand-new employee who understands every aspect of his/her job, knows co-workers & hierarchy of the organization, knows policies, procedures & expectations, and is prepared to begin thriving at work on day two. That simply a win-win for everyone!

The bottom line is organizations are losing money every day if their people don’t know their roles, responsibilities, and expectations. Be proactive with your new employees. Ensure supervisors make new employees a priority on their first day. This is one challenge that will pay huge dividends immediately. Run To Your Challenge and start seeing immediate results… and stop losing money!

“Run to Your Challenges… to Achieve Greatness & Stand Out Among Leaders!”

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  • Paul Grau Jr.

    Head Coach | Host of 'Run To Your Leadership Challenges' Podcast

    Current Leadership Coaching, LLC.

    Paul works with all leaders but loves working with mid-level & team leaders to help them be the best leaders they can be so their entire team thrives. Paul transforms dysfunctional teams into thriving teams that communicate effectively, have high morale, and maximum productivity, with little to no conflict. Call Paul today so you and your team of leaders can Run To Your Challenges together. Listen to the 3-5 minute podcast on iTunes, Spotify, Alexa, Stitcher, iHeartRADIO, Google and SoundCloud. “Run To Your Challenges”