Ever get stuck working with the new guy? All they do is ask questions and on top of that, they need to be told how to do everything! What good are they? Sound familiar? You are potentially ignoring one of your most precious assets.
First off, I want to address the questions and training portion. If you neglect either one of these, you are risking not having any one else trained to do certain things. Properly trained personnel are able to assume their duties much faster. They do not need the constant supervision they do now. Look at it this way; the faster you get them trained properly, the sooner they are out of your hair. Not to mention, if they are trained poorly or not at all, you will likely be the one re-doing all they ruined.
Now, let us discuss how these new people are very useful. They are going to see things differently than you. When you go to a new place you often notice many of the little things like missed paint spots, holes in the wall, or a process that just simply is useless. Those constantly in the area learn to tune these out or think the process is important because it has always been there. Think about a time when you took over a program from someone else. As you were learning it, you probably noticed somethings that were not done correctly or could be done easier.
Many of the questions that I get asked when I train others is “why is this done that way?” More than likely this question is asked because the process doesn’t make any sense to them. Ask this new person how they would do this particular task. They could very well be on to something. Most of the time we are working a process that was put into place to solve a problem. The source of this problem may no longer exist or the new boss is focused in another area and we are just spinning our wheels.
Here is a little story to exemplify the value of a new person. I was training a new guy on how to do a program I used to manage. I always pride myself on having systems in place to make things flow smoothly. He asked me why we did something a certain way and then he suggested another way of doing it. Keeping an open-mind I tried it his way and was able to completely eliminate about six hours of busy work.
What if I would have ignored him? Many of us ignore the suggestions of new people because we think they are not knowledgeable. Some of us may even discourage others from giving us input. We shoot the idea down and ultimately shut down that person. Even if you know the idea is horrible and could never work, give it a moment’s thought and keep an open-mind. Together you could come up with something that will work and at the very least you are showing respect for his opinion.
New people are able to offer a fresh set of eyes to an old problem. Have you ever struggled on a puzzle or problem for awhile and simply were lost? Then maybe someone else came along and knew the answer right away. They are not necessarily smarter or better than you, they are just fresh. It is important to not isolate or ridicule the ideas of those that are new. Their fresh perspective and outside ideas can offer a new or better way of accomplishing something.
New people are not the enemy sent to destroy your life. They are a blessing that will take some of your burdens away. Train them well and listen to them. They will respect you and you will get their best efforts which results in less work for you.